CEOSS Forum for Intercultural Dialogue organized a conference entitled “Civil Society and Its Role in the Development of the Constitution’s Philosophy,” to discuss the vision of civil society in the 2012 amendments to the Constitution. This conference was attended by: Dr. Ali Selmi- former Deputy Prime Minister; Hafez Abu Saada – Head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights; Hussein Abdel Razek – Member of the constitution committee; Mohamed Abdel Aziz member of Rebel Movement; and 200 intellectuals and media professionals. Among the issues discussed were the basic principles of a modern state, civil society’s vision, the philosophy of the constitution, institutional restructuring, and effectuating the Egyptian culture.
In his speech, Dr. Rev. Andre Zaki, CEOSS General Director, emphasized the importance of maintaining the second article of the frozen Constitution, calling for the need to remove any sectarian articles, and in particular Article III. He also stressed on the importance of the rule of law and applying it without discrimination. He added that participation of all segments of society in writing the Constitutional amendments is essential so as to develop a Constitution expressing the aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people and their June 30th Revolution.
Dr. Ali Selmi, former Deputy Prime Minister, said that the religious movements rejected the Constitutional draft presented in 2012, considering it a violation of the basic principles of the Sharia law, and threatened to resort to the Constitutional Court. They also had objections on the phrase that states “Egypt is a civil state” in the Constitution.
At the end of the meeting a document was issued to highlight the most important comments and recommendations discussed at the meeting about the draft Constitution, which was handed over to Mr. Amr Moussa, Chairman of the Constitution Committee, as the vision of a number of civil society organizations working for the good of the country and the benefit of its citizens.