Nour Party considers withdrawal from constitutional committee

Egypt's Salafi-oriented Nour Party is considering withdrawing from a 50-member committee tasked with amending the constitution, party officials said.

The party will hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss a potential withdrawal from the 50-member committee after one representative was chosen to represent the Islamist group. Authorities selected Nour Party leader Bassam al-Zarqa out of a possible three nominees to represent the party
 
Nour Party spokeperson Sherif Taha said the party objected to attempts to "marginalize" Islamists, as well as revolutionary youth from the 25 January uprising, through the composition of the committee.
 
The party was therefore considering withdrawing from the committee, he revealed, despite an earlier statement by the Nour Party claiming it would not withdraw from or boycott the amendment process.
 
Nour officials said they would maintain a seat at the committee table to protect Islamic Sharia as part of the Egyptian Constitution.
 
Nour Party leader Khaled Alam Eddin said the party was looking to secure five seats for Islamist representatives at the amendment body.
 
Alam Eddin pointed out that liberal and secular figures have been selected to represent syndicates and public figures.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaa al-Islamiya and Sufi groups meanwhile announced they would mobilize their supporters to reject the constitution in a referendum scheduled in around two months, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Tuesday.

A constitutional declaration announced by interim President Adly Mansour shortly after the overthrow of ousted President Mohamed Morsy stated that constitutional amendments proposed by the 50-member committee would be put to popular referendum.
 
The loose coalition of Islamist groups have also criticised so-called attempts at marginalization by the Egyptian authorities.
 
Jamaa al-Islamiya spokesperson Mohamed Hassan claimed that the selection of committee members had no legal basis, noting that the administration had not contacted Jamaa al-Islamiya or its Construction and Development Party before choosing representatives.
 
Jamaa al-Islamiya will either vote "no" to the constitution or boycott the referendum altogether, Hassan added.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party leader Ahmed Diyab said the 50-member committee was null as it was formed by "coup authorities," adding the Muslim Brotherhood would not take part in it. 
 
Sufi representative Abdallah al-Nasser also claimed the committee was "unfair" because it neglected to include Sufi figures.
 
The Brotherhood Without Violence group also filed a claim before the administrative court to dissolve the committee in charge of amending the constitution.