■ Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces(SCAF) to draft core constitutional principles
Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Saturday made known its intentions to form a committee to draft a declaration of core constitutional principles to govern the constitution making process. The decision, seen as a concession to the liberals, who in addition to demanding the immediate commencement of the process of writing a new constitution, wanted a Bill of Rights-style guarantee of civil liberties that would limit the potential repercussions of an Islamist victory at the polls, has angered the conservatives, notably the Muslim Brotherhood who are likely to win the elections if they were held today. Unlike the poorly organized liberals, the Muslim Brotherhood and other conservatives have been lobbying for the holding of elections before a new constitution is written. It is to be recalled that the proposed principles will be just one in a flurry of constitutional principles issued lately by different groups and activists, key amongst which are those of the National Council earlier this July and Mohammed El Baradei’s 17 point charter in June. The declaration, which is also seen by some legal experts as an attempt by the military to spell out the Armed forces’ role in any future civilian government comes, as demonstrators reconvened in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to voice their frustrations with the pace of reforms, initiated following Mubarak’s resignation in February.