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Egypt Constitution-Writing Committee to Include 50 Lawmakers

•, By Mariam Fam

Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament voted to include 50 of its lawmakers in a 100-member panel tasked with writing a new constitution, with the remainder coming from other institutions.

The results were read by Mohamed Saad el-Katatni, speaker of the lower house of parliament, according to footage of the session posted on the Cabinet’s Facebook page.

“The proposal that has received the most votes is the one stating that 50 percent of the composition of the constituent assembly comes from within parliament and 50 percent from outside parliament, including all institutions, civil society institutions and public personalities,” el-Katatni said.

The makeup of the committee has been the focus of wrangling over the degree of influence Islamist groups will have shaping the constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood’s party alliance makes up the largest bloc in the recently elected parliament, followed by a Salafi alliance. Salafis are followers of an austere interpretation of Islam.

“You’re going to agree on 100 people, and then get those 100 people to agree on politically-charged issues that have created a lot of polarization in Egypt: the role of the military, oversight over the military budget, the role of religion in public life, the division of power between parliament and the president,” Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, said by phone.“That’s a challenge.”

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