Sudan risks counter coup without deal on transition: Opposition leader    Spurned by US, North Korea's Kim holds talks with Putin    NTPC to invest in solar energy in Egypt    EGP 1.852tn balance of local T-Bills, T-Bonds by end-March    AOI will complete launch of two solar plants in Eritrea next October    Trump's ‘peace plan' in Middle East to be unveiled in June    Tripoli neighbourhoods "turning into battlefields": Red Cross    Global economy could lose $70tn due to climate change acceleration    For First Time in Egypt: Uber launches UberBlack in El Gouna    No Egyptians to travel for Umrah without Ministry of Tourism approval: Supreme Committee for Hajj, Umrah    The widespread impact of domestic violence    Ancient Egyptian tomb filled with mummies unearthed in Aswan    Indian embassy, Social Solidarity Ministry launch new initiative in Assuit    Once upon a time in Eden features Anubis in batman suit    Egypt renews state of emergency for three months: Official gazette    Egyptians binging on holiday    Manchester United's Solskjaer concedes City have set a new standard    Guardiola amazed by Manchester City's response to European exit    Manchester City's Fernandinho facing knee injury scan    In pursuit of stability    Sliced twice    Egyptian triple    Staged in Cairo    Partial sale of Banque du Caire    Steel troubles    After the Sri Lanka bombings    Democrat divisions over Mueller report    Primary healthcare for all    Avengers: Endgame    Yemen's new road to peace    The return of the vice president    Expat voices heard    Al-Qawmi Theatre's new production Yaaish Ahl Baladi is a must go    Celebrating World Heritage    Don't miss "The Sum of All Parts" exhibition at UBUNTU gallery    Egypt's constitutional amendments approved: What's next?    Centamin reports better-than-expected Q1 gold output    Egypt's state employees to be assessed ahead of transfer to New Administrative Capital    Egypt to set up 4 medical centers in Africa: Minister    Republished: Good morning, Sinai: A look at the headlines when Israel withdrew in 1982    Egypt's bourse recovers, gains EGP 3.8 billion    Egyptian voters back constitutional amendments    Elders, campaigners dominate scene in Kerdasa polling stations    250 archaeological missions from 25 countries work in Egypt: Minister    Bundesliga: Bayern Munich turn the screw in a reminder of champions past    Trade exchange between Egypt, Tunisia to increase to $500m    Cairo Copts celebrate Palm Sunday    Vatican willing to offer technical know-how to help restore Notre-Dame    

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

National dialogue begins
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 14 - 03 - 2019

Parliament's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee began meeting yesterday to discuss amendments to Egypt's 2014 Constitution. The committee's Deputy Chairman Ahmed Helmi Al-Sherif told Al-Ahram Weekly that the dialogue was originally scheduled to begin on Monday but was postponed while the Arab-African Youth Platform took place.
“The dialogue will continue next week with hearing sessions on Saturday 23 March, Sunday 24 March, Monday 25 March and Thursday 28 March when representatives from all sectors of society will be able to give their views on the proposed changes.”
In the month leading up to 16 March the committee heard the views of state institutions, political parties, public figures and ordinary citizens, said Al-Sherif.
“The committee received comments and remarks from different sectors, including Egyptian expatriates. The consultations revealed differences, but also wide support for amending Article 140 of the constitution, increasing presidential terms from four to six years and allowing President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to stand for two additional terms once the constitutional amendments are approved in a public referendum.”
The amendments involve changes to Articles 102, 140, 160, 189, 190, 193, 200, 204, 234, 243 and 244. The majority Support Egypt parliamentary bloc which submitted the amendments on 11 February has also proposed eight new articles be added to the constitution.
Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal says the amendments have six objectives: to create a 25 per cent quota of seats reserved for female candidates; create a second house (the Senate); increase presidential terms from four to six years; reinstate the post of vice president; regulate the system for selecting the heads of judicial authorities and re-define the role of the army in defending the country.
Yesterday, representatives of teaching boards and student unions, officials from Al-Azhar and the Coptic Church and journalists and media workers took part in the first national dialogue meeting.
Ministries, provincial governorates and national councils were scheduled to join the second meeting today. On 23 March the Minister of Justice and representatives from the judicial authorities and the armed forces have been invited to a third meeting. A day later it will be the turn of representatives from professional syndicates, trade unions, the private sector and economic institutions, including the Central Bank of Egypt.
The fifth and sixth national dialogue meetings are expected to be the most significant. The fifth will include up to 120 political party officials while the sixth, scheduled for 28 March, will be devoted to reviewing the remarks of constitutional law experts, NGOs and civil society organisations, businessmen, Egyptian expatriates and public figures.
Among the figures invited to give their views are Mubarak-era speaker of parliament Fathi Sorour, Bibliotheca Alexandrina head Mostafa Al-Fiqi; former minister of parliamentary affairs Magdi Al-Agati; Court of Cassation head Fathi Al-Masri, Deputy Head of the State Cases Authority Mohamed Abdel-Wahab Al-Eissawi; Head of the Administrative Control Authority Abdel-Raouf Moussa; Cairo's Appeal Court Head Gaber Al-Maraghi; Head of the State Security Court Hassan Farid; Head of the committee in charge of sequestrating the funds of terrorist organisations Mohamed Yasser Abul-Fotouh and former deputy head of the Supreme Constitutional Court Mohamed Abdel-Aziz Al-Shennawi.
One notable name missing is that of Amr Moussa, the former foreign minister and chair of the 50-member Constituent Assembly which drafted the 2014 current constitution. In a tweet early in February Moussa said there should be serious consultations over the proposed changes and argued it was far too early to tell whether the 2014 Constitution needed to be changed.
Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee member Abdel-Moneim Al-Oleimi told the Weekly that Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal will participate in most of the dialogue meetings and be available to respond to questions, as will Support Egypt bloc leader Abdel-Hadi Al-Qasabi.
“At the end of the dialogue on 28 March the committee will hold two weeks of closed door meetings during which a final draft of the amendments will be produced,” says Al-Oleimi.
“A report will be complied and placed before a plenary session of parliament. If two-thirds of MPs back the changes the final draft of amendments will be sent to President Al-Sisi who will invite citizens to vote on them in a public referendum.”
Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka, head of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs, said in a TV interview last week that he expects a referendum on the amendments be held at the end of April, before Ramadan starts on 6 May.
“The vote in parliament will cover all the amendments. It will be a single package rather than an amendment by amendment vote,” he said.

Clic here to read the story from its source.