Trump says ceasefire in Syria is holding despite few skirmishes    Johnson faces perilous Brexit ratification after Brexit deal vote blocked    China's economic growth could fall below 6% in 2020: IMF    Salah returns to Liverpool's trainings on Monday, says Egypt's coach    Lebanon set to cut ministers' pay in bid to defuse protests    Banks weigh on Saudi stocks ; other Gulf mixed    Match abandoned in latest blow to Mexican football    Tennis: Murray beats Wawrinka to win first title since hip surgery    Spanish PM to visit Barcelona, criticises regional chief    EBRD bank praises Egyptian reforms efforts – official    Sisi: Russia-Africa Summit reflects historic friendship ties    Parliament committee to address problem of stray dogs in Egypt    Shell Egypt to sell assets in Western Desert to focus on offshore exploration    WHO hails 'triumph' as Ebola vaccine gets European green light    Current and ex smokers may lower lung cancer risk with exercise    Lebanon agrees final budget with no taxes to appease protesters    Egypt's Sisi praises SCC's role in protecting justice, rights, freedoms    France's President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    Egypt inks deal with Euroclear Bank to upgrade public debt management    Egypt's Cooperative Insurance Society to cover NGOs clients' loans    After a young pupil dies of meningitis in Egypt, tips to help prevention    Egypt's PM urges US's ADTRAN Inc. to invest in communications equipment    French President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    'Passports should be valid for six months,' Egypt's foreign ministry advises citizens planning travel abroad    Grand Nile Tower Arts & Cultural Centre launches second round    Egypt's coach Hossam El-Badry satisfied with winning start despite technical problems    Luxor's new discoveries    Moroccan film Nomades scoops awards in Alexandria Film Festival    Toshiba's JV with Egyptian Elaraby opens regional HQ in South Africa    Six authors vie for Booker prize 2019, Atwood in the lead    In Photos: A sneak peek into rehearsals for the Cleopatra ballet world premiere    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM to meet in Moscow to discuss GERD issue    Sisi: army engaged in attrition phase against terrorism in Sinai since 2013    10K fans to attend Egypt's friendly against Botswana in Alexandria: EFA    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM agree to overcome obstacles in Nile dam talks    Farwell to Egyptian comic actor Talaat Zakaria    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    

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

Calls for constitutional amendment to extend Egypt's presidential terms spark debate
Published in Ahram Online on 16 - 08 - 2017

Calls by some Egyptian MPs to amend the 2014 constitution to extend presidential terms from four years to six have been met with criticism from some political forces.
Ismail Nasreddin, an MP affiliated with parliament's majority bloc Support Egypt, was the first to call for amending the constitution, saying Article 140 should be amended to extend the president's term from four to six years.
Nasreddin, an MP from the South Cairo district of Helwan, had said in February that he also wants to change Article 146, which mandates parliamentary approval before the president can make cabinet appointments or dismissals, as well as Article 103, which requires MPs to devote their full time to parliamentary business.
Nasreddin also said Article 190 should be amended to strip the State Council – the country's top administrative judicial body – of some its powers.
A number of political parties and figures have criticised the call to amend the constitution to extend presidential terms, including the Wafd, the Future of a Nation, the Conference, El-Tagammu, the Socialist Popular Alliance, the Nasserist, and the Egyptian Social Democratic parties.
Amr Moussa, the former foreign affairs minister who headed the 50-member constituent assembly that drafted the 2014 constitution, has also rejected calls to extend the president's term.
In a statement on Saturday, Moussa said that parliament should look to implement the constitution, not amend it.
Last week, the head of parliament's Human Rights Committee Alaa Abed called for amending the 2014 constitution to extend presidential terms as well as expand the powers of the president to “help future presidents implement their programmes.”
"The powers we want to give the president include the right to appoint and fire cabinet ministers without first obtaining parliament's approval," said Abed.
"A four-year term is a very short period for the people to judge a president, not to mention that this short period does not help keep the country stable in a region plagued by internal conflicts and sectarian strife," Abed said.
"An election every four years in Egypt is highly costly in security and financial terms."
Abed, who is also the parliamentary spokesman of the Free Egyptians Party (65 MPs), argued that "when the Constituent Assembly met to draft the constitution four years ago, it was under pressure after the 30 June 2013 Revolution, which erupted to eliminate the autocratic rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and religious fascism," said Abed.
"However, after [former president Mohamed] Morsi exploited presidential decrees to give himself absolute power, the Constituent Assembly reacted by stripping the president of many of his essential powers in the new constitution, in addition to [limiting] his term to four years in office."
Abed also said that the constitution should also be amended to bring back the country's second legislative chamber, which was abolished in the 2014 constitution.
"We want an upper parliament to be created to help the House of Representatives bear its legislative and supervisory responsibilities."
Abed added, however, that he does not want to amend the constitution's articles on freedoms and rights.
"These articles were drafted in a very good way. All we want is to change at least 15 articles to help the country meet economic and security challenges in the coming years," Abed said.
He recommended that the constitution be amended ahead of the 2018 presidential elections.
"Let's draft the amendments and let the people approve or reject them in a public referendum."
In a meeting on 9 August with constitutional law professors affiliated with Mansoura University, parliament speaker Alaa Abdel-Aal said that "Egypt's 2014 constitution in its current form does not help serve the country's needs in the long run.”
“Many of the articles in this constitution should be reconsidered, such as the article that allows the president to appoint a cabinet minister only after getting parliament's approval," said Abdel-Aal.
Al-Ahali, the weekly mouthpiece of the leftist Tagammu Party, said in its Wednesday issue that "the true aim behind these calls is to postpone presidential elections to 2020 to help the incumbent president – President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi – stay in power for two more years.
"And if the current president wins a second term in an election in 2020, he would stay until 2026," Al-Ahali said.
Ashraf Rashad, the head of the pro-El-Sisi Future of a Nation party, said in a statement this week that the party supports re-electing El-Sisi next year, but is against amending the constitution at this time.
Omar Simida, the head of the Conference Party, which was founded by Amr Moussa, has also said that "what is important now is to encourage citizens to actively participate in voting next year."
"This is not the right time to amend the constitution, but the matter could be put to a national dialogue after the presidential poll next year," said Simida.
In March, El-Sayed El-Badawi, the head of the Wafd Party – Egypt's oldest political party – said that "amending the constitution to extend the president's term is a very bad step."
"It would do a lot of damage to the president and parliament's reputation," said El-Badawi.
In June, Mohamed El-Sewedi, the head of the Support Egypt bloc, told reporters in a press conference that "what we see are just individual calls; there is no collective action seeking to amend the constitution."
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marawan also told reporters in a press conference in July that "the government does not intend to amend the constitution."
"Who said the government wants to change the 2014 constitution?" Marawan asked, adding that "these press reports do not have any foundation."

Clic here to read the story from its source.