Interim period to be extended?
Mohamed Salmawy, draft committee spokesperson

Drafters of the new constitution are considering major amendments to the so-called road map just one week before the draft is due to be finalized, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Following the July removal of former President Mohamed Morsi, the military issued a schedule or “road map” which called for the drafting of a constitution to precede the holding of parliamentary elections. Only after that vote would the election of a new president take place.

But now, according to the privately owned daily, members of the draft committee are debating four possible scenarios. The first scenario would see presidential elections held before the parliamentary; the second would call for both elections to be held at the same time; the third would extend interim President Adly Mansour’s appointment for another year; and the fourth would extend the transitional period, delay elections, and form a presidential council.

Mohamed Salmawy, the committee’s spokesperson, confirmed the reports. “There are different ideas being discussed currently by the committee concerning the road map, but no solid elaborations have been proposed to the subcommittees,” he said.

A legal source on the committee, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the legal basis for the proposals was now being examined. He added, “This week all this will be decided upon.”

But not all committee members appeared to support the proposed changes. Mohamed Abd al-Aziz represents the Tamarod movement and is deputy chair of the subcommittee for the system of governance. In the same article, he said that the best scenario would be to keep the road map as it is. If there was to be a change, however, he said he would accept the holding of presidential elections before the parliamentary elections.

Mervat al-Talawy, a member of the draft committee and secretary general of the National Council for Women, agreed with Abd al-Aziz. She added, however, that the third or the fourth scenarios are also suitable for the current situation.

Observers say that Egypt is witnessing a political vacuum in the post-Mubarak, post-Morsi period. There appears to be a dearth of individuals willing to put themselves forward to stand as presidential candidates. Nor have established political parties introduced politicians who appear to have broad public support.

Egypt expects to see a referendum on the draft constitution by early January.


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