Egypt’s new constitution could ban parties based on religion

Religious parties in Egypt like that of ousted President Mohamed Morsy’s party may face dissolution while the ban on deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak’s party could be revoked under a proposed new constitution that seeks to overhaul the country’s political system.

A 10-member technical committee handed over the amended draft on Tuesday to Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour after a month of deliberations and revisions.

The committee opted to change Article 6 to impose an outright ban on the formation of political parties based on religion or on mixing religion with politics.

This could lead to the dissolution of Islamist parties — including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

The committee also ruled in favour of eliminating the Shura Council, parliament’s upper house, and lifting a ban that prevented leading officials of Mubarak’s defunct National Democratic Party from exercising political rights, including running in elections.

The draft states Islamic sharia as the main source of legislation. The committee, however, decided that Article 219, which gives various interpretations of Islamic sharia, be revoked.

Article 219 was added by the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly in 2012 under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Under the draft constitution, Egypt will have a hybrid rule that is closer to a parliamentary system, with the President and Prime Minister sharing powers, the presidential adviser for constitutional affairs said.

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