Members of Parliament start voting on the newly-proposed amendments to the 2014 Constitution on Thursday- Egypt Today/Hazem abdel-Samad Members of Parliament start voting on the newly-proposed amendments to the 2014 Constitution on Thursday- Egypt Today/Hazem abdel-Samad

Legislative committee to vote on constitutional amendments

Sun, Apr. 14, 2019
CAIRO – 14 April 2019: The Parliament's legislative committee will hold a meeting on Sunday, following the House's plenary session, to vote on a draft report of the planned constitutional amendments, which, if approved, would extend the presidential term to six years instead of four.

According to Article 138 of the Parliament's bylaws, passing the amendments in such draft report would require the approval of the majority of the committee's members. As the legislative committee currently includes 53 Parliament members, 27 MPs have to approve the report to pass it.

The Parliament’s legislative committee approved on Wednesday the formation of a subcommittee to write the final draft of the proposed constitutional amendments. The subcommittee will be headed by Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal.

The subcommittee’s members include Bahaa Abu Shoka, the legislative committee’s head; MPs Ahmed Helmy al-Sherif and Nabil al-Gamal, the committee’s deputy heads; and Ihab al-Tamawi, the committee’s secretary.

The Parliament earlier gave a preliminary approval ofthe constitutional amendments submitted by 155 Parliament members.After a societal dialogue was held by the government, the amendments will come up for vote in a parliamentary plenary meeting after being drafted in a final legal context, and approved by the legislative committee.

The streets and public squares have been overwhelmed with banners calling on citizens to vote in the planned referendum on the amendments. Having the name of the pro-government Nation’s Future Party written on them, the banners urged people to vote in favor of the amendments.

If the amendments are approved, presidential terms in general will be extended to six years instead of four for each of the two terms, while the incumbent president will be allowed to run for a third exceptional term. Also, heads of the judicial bodies would be appointed by the president.

Abdel Aal affirmed many times that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi did not ask for amending Article No. 140 extending the presidential term.

The proposed amendments also include restoring Shura Council – a senate- to broaden representation at the Parliamentary Councils- after it was dissolved in 2012. The appointment of deputy president is also one of the amendments. Supporting women, Youth, Christian minority, the disabled, and the Egyptian expatriates community by solid constitutional articles are included in the amendments.

One of the amendments stipulates, “The Armed Forces are the guarantor of the democracy and civil state, and the appointment way of defense minister should be reconsidered.”
 
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