Family of ISIS victim renews lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook & Google    Israel holds 32 physically disabled Palestinians in prison    More than 170 journalists jailed in Turkey    Egyptian billionaire Sawiris in surprise exit as Orascom CEO    Tunisian cinema critic: Culture is the way to defeat extremism    From Iraq-Syria to Africa, expert warns about ISIS expansion    Egypt: More sanctions on FMG to 15 years of imprisonment    Judge in Al-Nahda sit-in dispersal case steps down    Urgent Matters Court postpones settling fate of Red Sea islands deal to 25 December    IS, Al-Qaeda likely to compete in future terrorist attacks in Europe: Dar Al-Ifta    Is Egypt officially turning down its former lifelong ally Saudi Arabia?    Ahmed Nagy's appeal on imprisonment verdict adjourned to 18 December    Currency devaluation to spur foreign purchase of property    Mona Mina released on bail pending trial    Detained Youth Committee to review additional names for inclusion in 2nd presidential pardon    Planning and Budget Committee demands state provide justification for customs increase, poultry imports exemption    6 ‘Sinai Province' militants killed during security sweep in Al-Arish    2 maritime inspection officials referred to disciplinary trial in Rashid capsized boat case    Cairo hosts "Implementation Science" regional conference    Egypt comes out on top at 2016 Women's World Team Squash Championship    Electricity Ministry to increase value of cost-sharing agreement for solar energy projects by 30% due to flotation    Chocolate Filling: an incisive journey through Belgium and more from the eyes of the Other    4 smugglers dead in Gaza-Egypt border tunnel    Closure of Al-Karama library is state's retaliation against my political views: Gamal Eid    Youth unemployment — who's to blame?    Humanitarian failure in Mosul    Behind the smokescreen    Goalless week for Egyptians abroad    Like what you have    Poison in the honey    ‘Precautionary measures'    Seven out of 10    Can they do it again?    Ally or opportunist?    Maternity leave and the meaning of life    Art    Of death and laughter    Egypt heads to finals of Women's World Team Squash Championship    Mohamed Aly elected member of World Karate Federation    EU delivers over €221 MM in support to Egypt & others    Cairo hosts Fulbright regional conference on natural resources    US & Egypt stress on protecting human antiquities against 'treachery'    MP Abdul Rahim Ali demands boycotting EU suspicious meeting    U.S., Egypt to sign cultural property protection agreement today    Sisi meets Eritrean counterpart to discuss means of developing bilateral ties    Iran, Iraq at loggerheads with Saudis ahead of OPEC meeting    Brazil football team Chapecoense in Colombia plane crash    Egypt organises American football league, first time in the Middle East    







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.