President Mohammed Morsi has stressed the need to overcome the deadlock concerning the Constituent Assembly. He called for holding a dialogue on the constitution’s contentious articles, saying that there is agreement on the need for a new constitution at this stage in order to achieve stability.
During a meeting with representatives of political forces yesterday [Oct. 24], the president said that he is following up on the efforts being made by the Assembly and its different visions. He noted that investment risk is inversely proportional to political stability.
He said that he would resume consultations with political forces after the Eid al-Adha holiday. He added that discussions will focus on the assembly and aim to reach a compromise over contentious articles. He noted that he will discuss the parliamentary electoral law in subsequent meetings in order to reach an agreement on a law that all parties approve of.
Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said that the political forces have clarified that there is dispute on 10 of the constitution’s articles, saying that an agreement was reached on six while four remain under contention. He added that the president does not want an extraordinary composition of the Assembly and would only consider re-forming it if the judiciary rejects its current form.
Ali condemned the criticism of the visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Gaza Strip, describing it as a humanitarian and Arab act that cannot be rejected given the suffering of the people of Gaza.
Regarding the boycott by some [Egyptian] parties of the meeting which was attended by 65 political figures, Ali said: “The invitation was made to all parties, old and new, and we respect all positions.”
A number of attendees objected to the invitation of [some] whom they considered remnants of the Mubarak regime. Some commented on the meeting via Twitter.
Presidential adviser Ayman al-Sayyad said: “I am attending the heated meeting with the president and listening to the intense [responses] of Asma Mahfouz and Islam Lotfy, which reminded me of Sadat’s response to [Dr. Abdel Moneim] Aboul Fotouh and Kamal Ahmad. Egypt is changing.”
Political parties, including the National Progressive Unionist Party and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, claimed that they did not receive an invitation to the meeting.
Other parties, including the Socialist Popular Alliance Party and Egypt National Party, said that they boycotted the meeting due to a lack of vision and organization, as well as the exclusion of figures who should have been invited.
For its part, the Strong Egypt Party, founded by Aboul Fotouh, said after the meeting that the aim behind its attendance was to take part in a serious national dialogue. The party noted the absence of influential elements on the political scene, holding the presidency responsible and saying it should have prepared better for the meeting.