He added that the status of existing parties with a religious basis would be reviewed according to criteria that will be established by a subsequent law on political parties. The constitutional draft stipulates that a political party may be disbanded only by a court verdict.

“The committee amended Article 54, which pertains to the establishment of political parties, banning the formation or activities of a party that are based on religious grounds,” Salmawy said. The amended article adds that a political party cannot be formed or active in a manner that is either secretive or discriminatory between citizens.

After the 2011 uprising, several political parties were formed on religious grounds, and a number of them used religion in the political process, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi Al-Nour Party, which were able to win a majority seat in the former parliamentary elections.

The 50-strong committee tasked with amending the suspended 2012 constitution has received a wave of criticism in the political spectrum for excluding Islamists.