29.83% voter turnout in 2nd stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections; 'For the Love of Egypt' sweeps electoral lists    Egyptian Export Development Bank's deposits jump 4%    A year's worth of rain in Qatar as floods hit Saudi Arabia    Saudi Arabia approves $100 million loan to Egypt    U.S. Embassy Condemns Terrorist Attack in Al Arish    Putin sends air defence missiles to Syria to deter Turkey    PSG to sport 'JE SUIS PARIS' on shirts for Paris victims    One Russian pilot shot down by Turkey picked up by Syrian Army    Russia may cancel joint projects with Turkey after after Russian jet downed    U.S. leads 23 air strikes against Islamic State: Statement    Manchester City must believe they can win the Champions League-Hart    CIB helps Egypt rebound; Saudi market flat    People who eat more yogurt have smaller waists    wires- Rare, 25-carat pink diamond found among Imelda Marcos collection: Christie's    Live score: Juventus v Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)    Tunisia declares state of emergency amid guard bus explosion    North Sinai attack death toll increases to seven    Pro-Sisi coalition set to take the current parliamentary elections by storm    Oil jumps further after big rally on increased Mideast risk    Asia stocks stumble on geopolitical tensions    Israel's Leviathan signs preliminary Egypt natgas supply deal    Six held in Hungary with weapons or explosives, bomb lab found    ISIS North Sinai affiliate claims responsability for hotel attack    Proverb of the day: Some bad news makes you cry and some makes you laugh همّ يضحّك وهمّ يبكّي    Vatican puts 2 journalists on trial for reporting on leaks    Egyptian film Out on the Street wins best film award at Latin-Arab Int'l Film Festival    Egypt's trailblazer    Tutankhamun unmasked?    Search for Nefertiti in Tutankhamun's tomb to start Thursday    Drastic Drop In Sharm El-Sheikh Tourism After Crash Of Russian Jet    Five injured in fire in famed Chicago skyscraper    Food stocks on the menu for Thanksgiving week    Briefs    Pound gaining ground?    Women and Copts oppose constitutional changes    From salt to sweet    Clerics expected more    Now you're in, now you're out    What a difference three days can make    Tennis, everyone?    Two Egyptians die in Paris attacks    Pre-empting investigations    LECTURES    Art    Nice, moderate weather across Egypt on Thursday    تييري هنري يقود نجوم الكرة حول العالم: صلوا من أجل باريس    Russia needs own investigation into doping allegations: Putin    US, Egyptian, Italian alliances win Maspero Triangle replanning contest    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Constitutional debates heating up
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 04 - 09 - 2012

While Egypt's new constitution is being drafted, heated debates are taking place in society regarding several articles that were the 1971 constitution's cornerstones. One such bone of contention is the question whether the workers' and farmers' parliamentary quota should be upheld.
In the wake of the 1952 revolution 50 per cent of parliamentary seats were allocated to farmers and workers, since they had suffered from social injustice under the monarchy.
Such representation has been maintained ever since, but opponents believe that the original purpose has been abandoned a long time ago. Those in favour of the article say that it protects the blue collars and hard-working farmers from the ambitions of the business community.
According to Atef el-Banna, a professor of constitutional law and a member of the Constituent Assembly, a decision has not yet been reached. He did however point out that there was a tendency in the Assembly to agree on a certain quota for farmers and workers, which could be around 30 per cent.
El-Banna is of the view that the circumstances have changed much since the 1950s and 60s, a fact that dictates the cancellation of the old quota. On the other hand the rights of those affected need to be upheld; they should be able to be nominated and run in future parliamentary elections.
He explained that in recent years the parliamentary seats allocated to workers and farmers were occupied by landowners, who could be police officers, businessmen, senior civil servants or members of several professions.
“The quota was implemented in the 1950s for political reasons; mainly because the new rulers were very keen to get the support of these two sectors," el-Banna told Al-Ahram Arabic daily.
In any case, he added, when the new constitution was finally drafted it would be put to a public referendum; the voters would have the final say about several of the much-debated articles.
Calling the representation of workers and farmers ‘flawed', Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, the former deputy chief of the Cassation Court, argued that the old nomination criteria did not bring ‘real' farmers and workers to the parliament.
“This is the reason why legislation related to this sector usually missed the point and as a result didn't meet the envisaged reform targets."
He opined that all elected parliamentarians, regardless of their cultural background, would have to be versatile in terms of the ‘culture of reality' and sufficiently qualified to fulfill their assigned tasks as lawmakers. There would be no need to make classifications; the voters should elect candidates committed to public issues and concerns.
The parliamentary representation of workers and farmers is getting centre stage attention since the post-January revolution legislature came under extensive scrutiny due to its role as a monitor of the government's performance and as a law maker.
Egypt is looking forward to having a new parliament. The first freely elected parliament dominated by an Islamist majority was dissolved more than two months ago by means of a constitutional court ruling.
Mahmud Emara, a businessman, told the newspaper that a parliament is not a suitable place to defend the rights of workers and farmers, and particularly not by allocating a certain number of seats to them. He also wondered what the future role of trade unions would be.

Clic here to read the story from its source.