Nour Party nominates prominent Salafi preachers for constituent assembly

The Nour Party will nominate prominent Salafi preachers Mohamed Hassan, Mohamed Ismail al-Muqaddem and Mostafa Helmy as members of the assembly that will write Egypt’s new constitution, the spokesperson of the party’s parliamentary committee, Ahmed Khalil, has said.

The Salafi-oriented party, which touts the application of Islamic law in the country’s upcoming constitution, occupies the second-largest share of parliamentary seats. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party holds the most seats.

According to the Constitutional Declaration, which has been governing Egypt since March 2011, Parliament should form a 100-member assembly to lay down the new constitution.

On Sunday, a joint session by both houses of Parliament ended a weeks-long controversy between Islamist and liberal parties about the representation of parliamentarians in the constituent assembly by reserving 50 percent of the assembly’s seats for MPs.

“The Nour Party will also nominate legal experts, such as constitutional law professor Mostafa Shbeita, and undersecretary of the Faculty of Law at Alexandria University Mohamed al-Bahy,” Khalil told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Khalil noted that his party will convene on Wednesday to make a final decision on those selections, adding they ensure that their nominations “represent all segments of society.”

The representation of MPs, who will make up 50 percent of its members, will be based on their parties’ parliamentary weight, Khalil said, adding that this means that Nour will occupy 12 out of 100 seats of the constituent assembly.

Commenting on the decision by some liberal parties to boycott the assembly, Khalil described it as an attempt to play off public opinion against Islamist parties.

“If adopted, it will be against the country’s interests,” he warned.

Meanwhile, members from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party submitted the names of their favorite nominees for the constitutional panel to majority leader Hussein Ibrahim.

Hatem Abdel Azim, an FJP parliamentarian, said the party’s share in the assembly will not exceed 20 MPs.

As for reports that trade unions are tipping Brotherhood-linked nominees for the assembly, Abdel Azim said that on voting for the assembly’s formation, it will be ensured that non-parliamentarian candidates represent society rather than the Brotherhood.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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