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MP Hamzawy withdraws from constitution-writing assembly

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MP Hamzawy withdraws from constitution-writing assembly

Independent MP Amr Hamzawy announced his withdrawal from the constitution-writing assembly Monday, saying it lacks fair political representation.

Hamzawy said officials failed to consider criteria of competence and balanced representation of political and social groups in deciding on the assembly’s members.

In a statement Monday, Hamzawy acknowledged that Parliament’s Islamist majority had the right to higher representation on the panel. But he said members’ election to the panel had been largely influenced by political affiliation, rather than competence and fair representation of different groups. He said a diverse panel was needed to produce a constitution supported by a consensus of Egyptians.

In Hamzawy’s statement, which he titled, “I ask for permission to withdraw,” the MP said he rejects “the marginalization of women, youth, Copts and the exclusion of several of Egypt’s competent legal and economic experts.”

On Sunday, Hamzawy posted a poll on his official Facebook page asking his constituents whether he should continue to serve as a member of the constituent assembly or pull out.

A majority of the 10,000 respondents to the poll — 55 percent — said they wanted him to continue, while 35 percent said he should withdraw immediately.

Hamzawy said he decided to go against the opinion of the majority of the respondents and pull out of the constituent assembly. His conscience and what he viewed as the country’s interests dictated that he resign from it, he said.

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