Ethiopia says US, EU, French teams helping analyse crash black boxes    Trump says US recognizes Israeli control of Golan Heights    Fitch upgrades Egypt's credit rating to B+    Vantage working on security procedures for Jerusalem trips    New investments of EGP 6.3bn injected in Egypt during February: MIIC    Nissan willing to support Egypt's automotive policy, make Egypt an export base in region: Senior VP, Chairperson for AMI region    Cabinet approves bill to combat drug addiction among state employees    White supremacists enter the fray    Tutankhamun goes to Paris    Disney closes $71B deal for Fox entertainment assets    Geography, history, future: Umbrella for Arab-African integration    South American bid favourite for 2030 World Cup: CONMEBOL    Egypt discusses plans with France's SYSTRA to build subway in Mansoura    Press Syndicate to give its opinion on SMC's sanctions list soon: Rashwan    Court sends 40 people to 3-16 years in jail for human trafficking    Alexander-Arnold out of England squad with back injury    Maguire is England's weak link, says Czech striker    Darts for all    To be continued    Greta    Egypt's squash hub    International Universities to start its next academic year in the New Capital    A Broken Window play is the latest at Taliaa Theatre, don't miss it    Mustafa Al-Razzaz's art is on show at the Gezira Arts Centre    Don't miss Asmaa Waguih's photography show at the AUC Photographic Gallery    Egypt's Parliament began national dialogue over constitutional amendments    Mohammed Ali Palace celebrates Mother's Day with royal jewellery exhibition    Google Doodle celebrates Egyptian poet Jamila Al-Alaily    National dialogue begins    New horizons    Christchurch terror    Another year for Syria?    Diaa Rashwan    Not German Christian Democrats    Witness to War and Peace: Egypt, the October War, and Beyond: English memoir of Al-Sadat's Cabinet    Russia warns of external interference in Algeria: Lavrov    Africa anticipates CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup quarter-final draws    Shoukry in Muscat for Egyptian-Omani committee    Egypt parliament provisionally approves bill on protecting personal data    Uganda releases 14 Egyptian expats after embassy intervention    Soda, sports drinks tied to higher risk of early death    Smartphone mindfulness app helps curb loneliness    Three killed in Netherlands shooting, police identify attacker    Right man for the right job    Op-ed review: Christchurch attacks, Press Syndicate's election    Borussia Dortmund's late, great victory comes with a warning    Irrigation Minister warns of water scarcity in Egypt    Egypt's Court of Cassation upholds verdict putting 169 Brotherhood members on terror list    

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

Reporting on change
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 14 - 02 - 2019

MPs discussed the 26-page report prepared by a parliamentary sub-committee on proposed constitutional amendments on Wednesday and Thursday, and in principle voted in favour of the proposed changes. The report will now be referred to parliament's Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee to be discussed in detail in a series of hearing sessions, writes Gamal Essam El-Din.
The report said the amendment motion submitted by 155 MPs reflects an actual and legal need.
“There is no doubt that these proposals have been made in response to practical and legal problems that require some articles of the existing constitution to be amended,” said the report.
“The amendments generally aim to introduce needed reforms to Egypt's system of government.”
The report argues the amendments meet the demands of the 30 June Revolution in 2013 which erupted in the face of an unprecedented constitutional and political crisis.
“The crisis left the country severely divided and posed a grave threat to internal stability,” says the report.
Parliament's internal bureau, led by the speaker and comprising his two deputies, accepted the motion which was submitted on 3 February only after ensuring its proposals complied with Article 226 of the constitution and the House of Representative's own internal bylaws.
“The motion was submitted by more than a fifth of MPs, as required by Article 226, and explained in clear cut terms which articles are to be amended and the reasons for the proposed changes,” says the report.
The report pays particular attention to the suggested changes to the last paragraph of Article 226 of the constitution.
“This paragraph stipulates that in all cases, texts pertaining to the re-election of the president of the Republic or the principles of freedom and quality enshrined in the constitution may not be amended unless the amendment brings more guarantees.”
“The guarantees required are related to the Article's stipulation that the president can be re-elected once only, and cannot stay in office for more than two terms. It does not extend to stipulate that the term of office should be four years.”
“It is clear that the stipulation in the last paragraph of Article 140 does not impose any kind of ban on increasing the length of the presidential term,” says the report, adding that “constitutional law experts and professors agree that the last paragraph of Article 226 can be amended.”
“Existing conditions confirm that a four-year presidential term is inadequate in terms of consolidating the comprehensive and sustainable development plans needed to rebuild the country amid unstable regional conditions.”
The report insists “there is no doubt that the implementation of some of the articles enshrined in the 2014 Constitution is in need of review” and notes that “all nations find it necessary to amend their constitutions from time to time.”
According to the report, the Supreme Constitutional Court has described constitutions as living charters that grow as they interact with conditions on the ground.
“The court believes constitutions should be progressive in the sense that they can be amended in line with the spirit of the age, and that interpretation of constitutions should always be flexible.”
“The amendment of Article 140 of the constitution is the most notable proposed change,” states the report.
“This article will be amended to state that the president of the Republic shall be elected for a period of six years, starting from the day following the termination of the term of his predecessor, and the president may only be re-elected once.”
It is also proposed a transitional article be created stating that “the current president of the republic shall be allowed to be re-elected in line with the newly-amended text of Article 140”.
The amendments also seek to create a supreme council for joint judicial affairs.
“In this respect,” the report explains, “the status quo has shown clearly there is a pressing need for such a council to take charge of affairs related to the judiciary.”
“The amendments also state the job of the State Council be confined to revising draft laws referred by parliament.”
On the role of the armed forces, the report says the amendments aim to reformulate their mandate to include safeguarding the constitution and democracy and preserving the civil nature of the state, the people's gains and the rights and freedoms of individuals.
“The amendments also aim to make the appointment of the minister of defence more systematic, allowing a nominee to be selected only after securing the approval of the Higher Council of Armed Forces (SCAF).”
The proposed changes also seek to provide legal protection for vital establishments and public utilities. In the words of the report, “this means entrusting the armed forces with protecting these establishments and utilities and referring those who seek to cause harm to military courts.”

Clic here to read the story from its source.