Advisory council members meet Sunday, Wasat threatens withdrawal

Members of the advisory council formed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) will meet on Sunday for the first time to select a council president, his or her aides, and a secretary.

The council consists of several representatives of political parties and other individuals chosen by the SCAF. Recently, the SCAF indicated that the council's function is merely to advise the SCAF rather than replace the upcoming parliament. Tensions arose when a SCAF general, Mokhtar al-Mulla, told foreign press last week that the parliament will not be solely responsible for appointing the constituent assembly that will draft the constitution. 

An advisory council member told Al-Masry Al-Youm that former Prime Minister Abdel Aziz Hegazy and former Minister of Information Mansour Hassan, both of whom served under former President Anwar Sadat, are potential nominees for the council’s presidency. Ahmed Kamal Abul Magd, former vice president of the National Council for Human Rights, is also a strong competitor for the position.

A source said that after the president and his or her aides are chosen, members will agree upon organizational procedures and times to meet. The discussions will then focus on establishing criteria for presidential nominations and for choosing members of the constituent assembly that will write the constitution.

The council’s secretary will act as liaison between the council and the SCAF.

The Wasat Party, meanwhile, has threatened to withdraw from the council if the SCAF does not implement the procedures the council recommends. Abul Ela Mady, the president of the party, told reporters on Saturday that the constituent assembly should be formed by the parliament as stated in the Interim Constitution, rather than by the advisory council.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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