A protester holds up a placard made of shotgun cartridges that reads “Down with military rule” during Friday prayers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo The Egyptian parliament is to meet this week to select a commission that will draft the country’s new constitution after the country’s military rulers and political parties broke a protracted deadlock on the issue.

At a seven-hour meeting in Cairo late on Thursday, the army generals and political representatives agreed on rules for the make-up of the constituent assembly whose previous Islamist-dominated formation was annulled by a court in April.

“The agreement is the fruit of strenuous efforts during which everyone was keen to create a constituent assembly, in which all leanings will be represented to produce an inclusive Egyptian constitution,” said Osama Yassin, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, who attended the meeting.

The agreement stipulates that 39 of the panel’s 100 members will be from the parliament, according to Yassin. In the previous commission, the Islamist-controlled parliament secured half of the panel, raising fears among the liberals and Christian minority about the outlook of a new constitution.

Egypt’s de facto ruler Field Marshal Hussain Tantawi has called the two houses of the parliament to hold a joint meeting on Tuesday to pick the members of the new commission.

“The assembly will include representatives of the political parties, constitution experts, religious [Muslim and Christian] institutions, professional unions, public figures, young people and women,” said Al Syed Al Badawi, the chief of the liberal Al Wafd Party.

The new constitution will clearly set out the national identity, presidential powers and the future role of the army that has wielded a key influence on the national scene for the past six decades.