Journalists Syndicate president: Constitutional Declaration was rushed and has mistakes

Hesham Younis, assistant general secretary of the Journalists Syndicate, said that interim President Adly Mansour had told the syndicate’s board in a meeting on Wednesday that the Constitutional Declaration was prepared hastily and that it has mistakes.

Younis said that, as Mansour had told the state-run MENA news agency, the point was to send a message that what occurred last week was not a coup, and that this message would be transferred by writing an interim constitution that enjoyed consensus.

“We told the president that we object to the Constitutional Declaration,” Younis said.

He also said that Mansour had asked the syndicate to contribute to national reconciliation, and confirmed his belief that the Muslim Brotherhood is an integral part of Egyptian society, adding that the protesters in Rabaa al-Adaweya Square would not be arrested unless they commit crimes.

He said that Mansour agreed with the syndicate that the imprisonment penalty reserved for journalists accused of libel should be replaced with a fine. “The president referred the dossier to his legal advisor in order to legislate it,” he said.

Younis told MENA that the president had told the board that he does not believe a charge of “insulting” the president should exist, as, in his view, a president should be treated like any ordinary citizen.

Mohamed Abdel Qoddous, an Islamist member of the board, did not attend the meeting, but the president asked the other members to send him his regards.

Edited translation from MENA