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Draft Constitution To Go To Egyptian People


Members of the assembly writing Egypt's new constitution pose for a group photo after finishing their vote at the Shura Council in Cairo December 1, 2013.

A referendum on the revised constitution in which the Egyptian people will decide whether to accept or reject it, is to be held within 30 days.

The final draft of an amended constitution has been submitted to Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour. The document was drafted over the past three months by a 50-person panel of predominantly secular composition appointed by the military-backed government, after President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power in July.


A referendum on the revised constitution in which the Egyptian people will decide whether to accept or reject it, is to be held within 30 days. Parliamentary and presidential elections, the order of which will be determined by the interim president, are to follow if the constitution is adopted.

Egypt’s last constitution, adopted in 2012, was largely drafted by Mr. Morsi’s supporters. It was adopted with 64 percent of the vote, with a turnout of 30 percent of eligible voters.

At a press briefing, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the United States is tracking the constitutional process in Egypt with interest. She said the United States “remain[s] committed to a referendum that is open to international observers and monitors…[The constitution] is going directly to the Egyptian people in the next 30 days,” she said, “and they’ll have a chance themselves to vote on it , which is what we’ve said is what the process should look like.”

Ms. Harf said that the United States “look[s] to this Constitution to protect the fundamental freedoms and rights of all Egyptians,” but she insisted that it was not up to the United States to say “whether this is a good or bad draft constitution. That’s in the hands of the Egyptian people now,” she said.

The United States continues to encourage the interim government to help address the aspirations of the Egyptian people, and looks to the government to demonstrate progress on its political roadmap, development of democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and accountability under the rule of law for violence committed by any party.

The U.S. remains committed to seeing the transition in Egypt succeed. Egypt’s success is important not only for Egyptians, but for the region, the United States, and the international community.
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