Questioning the rigid application of the Goldwater Rule    Diverse local and international exhibitors to unveil new projects at this year's Cityscape Egypt    Decision to relieve expatriates from car customs for a dollar deposit according to car model: immigration minister    Dabaa prepares to receive nuclear power plant    Islamophobia observatory praises Merkel's statements on Islam    A new report on religious status in Egypt    Godfather of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya dies after 24-year imprisonment    Court postpones appeal against acquittal of 15 Ultras Ahlawy members    Egypt bans presence of any motorbike types in central and North Sinai    Jordanian stage artist loses membership on blasphemy allegations    Shoukry heads to Tunisia to prepare trilateral summit with Tunisian, Algerian counterparts    Haftar: Libya would not have regained strength without Egypt's support    Libyan file is top priority for Egyptian foreign policy    South Sudanese VP hails relations with Egypt    Egypt: Court rejects dissolution of ultraconservative Al-Nour Party    Egypt's Grand Mufti: 'Single Mother' destroys our values    Freedom of expression in Egypt in 2016: an overview    Egypt's Mohamed Hamza wins bronze at the U20 Fencing World Cup    Egypt's Youssef Ibrahim qualifies for the semifinals of Squash Open D'Italia    Russian flights to resume to Egypt on 23 February: Sputnik    Third field army kills three militants in Mount Halal area of central Sinai    Petroleum Minister receives foreign delegations on boosting investments    Egyptian Mohamed Hamza wins bronze medal in Epee World Cup    Egypt, Swiss Ambassador open restored Stoppelaere House in Luxor    Egyptian Minister: Tourism up 48% due to successful promotion policies    Germany and France call on Russia to play constructive role in Syria peace talks    32 films in Aswan International Women Festival    EU announces launch of OECD technical support for Suez Canal of Egypt    "Age of Magnificence" is back for a new season of drama    Messi postpones Egypt visit after Barcelona defeat    Soccer superstar Messi in Egypt for anti-Hepatitis campaign    What can moderate Muslims present to eradicate extremism and ISIS?    تغريدة - ماذا قال نجوم الزمالك وأبرز رموزه بعد التتويج بالسوبر    Jack Nicholson to star in remake of German hit comedy 'Toni Erdmann'    حكاية خيسوس - القادم من ضواحي ساو باولو وفتن جوارديولا    Exhibition combines legacy of Islamic manuscripts with contemporary art    Wrap-up of 2017 Cairo International Book Fair's latest novels    Italian couple arrested for sending weapons to ISIS    Newsreel    New Year routine    Imminent cabinet reshuffle    Footballer furore    In quest of national consensus    ‘Protecting the weakest'    Briefs    IMF open to scrutiny    Art heist goes wrong    All the fun of the Book Fair    







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.