CAIRO, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A leader in the Egyptian Assembly says the first draft of the country's new constitution will be ready for release by the third week of September.
Mohamed Mohey Eddin, chairman of the Defense and National Security Committee, said there will be time for public discussion before the document is put to a referendum, Egypt Independent reported.
Some proposals have already been leaked and have been controversial. They include a plan to keep the details of the military budget secret.
Mohey Eddin said there is consensus in the Constituent Assembly about "the importance of the secrecy that should surround anything related to the Armed Forces." But Safwat al-Zayat, a retired general in the Egyptian Army, disagreed, saying hiding the details of military spending could mean spending too much on the military.
"We are in an open world now. Military budgets are not only discussed in public but published for everyone to see," Zayat said. "Sometimes, the internal threat caused by deteriorating economic conditions and lack of social justice is much greater than any outside threat."
Other controversial questions include whether the president should be able to declare a state of emergency, giving the military special power to maintain order, and whether Islam should have constitutional recognition. Egypt Independent said there is little support for removing any reference to Islam.
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