Update: Controversial articles in decree to be suspended, Gheriany says

Constituent Assembly head Hossam al-Gheriany has said that the president may suspend two controversial articles of the 22 November constitutional declaration.

Gheriany met with members of the National Council for Human Rights, which he also heads, on Monday to discuss their objections to President Mohamed Morsy’s 22 November constitutional declaration, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

NCHR members say that the declaration violated international human rights charters. The committee released a statement specifically condemning Articles 2 and 6 of the decree.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm Gheriany told participants in the meeting that the NHCR’s demands would likely be met as the presidential office would soon issue a statement announcing the cancellation of these articles.

Article 2 states that previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by the president since he took office on 30 June 2012 until the constitution is approved and a new People’s Assembly is elected, are final and cannot be appealed, suspended or canceled. The article stipulates that any lawsuits related to them brought before judicial bodies would be annulled by default.

Article 6 gives the president the power to take necessary measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution.

A source had told Turkish state news agency Anadolu earlier that the president’s office is considering suspending the declaration entirely.

In exclusive comments to an Anadolu correspondent, a political source close to the president’s office said that Vice President Mahmoud Mekky will declare the declaration, which has led to fierce protests and bitter political division, “inactive.”

The same source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said that the vice president’s statements will be published as part of an interview Wednesday with an Egyptian daily. The source added that the president’s office has also considered amending the declaration, particularly the second and sixth articles immunizing the president's decisions against legal challenges.

The source did not give further details, but expressed hopes that the announcement would ease the current political crisis.

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