Opposition MP urges citizens to vote at possible constitutional referendum



Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:19 GMT


Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:19 GMT

FILE - Haitham al-Hariri

FILE - Haitham al-Hariri

CAIRO - 13 February 2019: Known for his opposition to many of the government's decisions, Parliament Member Haitham al-Hariri voiced rejection to amending the constitution and thus extending the presidential term to six instead of four years.

In an interview published by Al-Shorouk in August 2017, Hariri said that such amendment will be the Parliament's "second sin," after approving the maritime border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia.

In a press conference held earlier this month for the Parliament's 25-30 opposition bloc to which Hariri belongs, he said that these amendments are "a bomb that would detonate at the democratic path in Egypt."

However, it seems that the opposition MP changed his stance, publicly calling on Egyptian citizens in a Facebook post to "positively participate and vote at the referendum," adding that "we all have to respect the will of the Egyptians."

Hariri did not change his Facebook profile picture which highlights the slogan of "no to the constitutional amendments. This is too much," Hariri yet said that constitutional amendments have their own unarguable mechanisms, "and if the Parliament approved [them,] then it would be the utmost democratic practice."

Bad reputation

Lawyer Samir Sabry, known for filing legal complaints against anti-state parties, filed an urgent lawsuit before the Administrative Court to compel the Parliament speaker to drop the membership of Hariri after a phone call allegedly between Hariri and an unknown married woman containing sexual undertones has been leaked only few days ago.

Sabri apparently considered the alleged phone call as clear evidence against Hariri, saying that the accused MP is now missing the condition of "good reputation," which all Parliament members must enjoy according to law.

Sabri said that many lawsuits have been filed against the MP, the most recent of which was the one submitted to the attorney general demanding to strip Hariri of his immunity and to investigate him over sexual charges including sexual harassment on the telephone.

He added that the Parliament member loses his immunity in case he is caught red-handed.

What to know about Egypt's constitutional amendment

CAIRO - 6 February 2019: The process to amend the constitution involves the House of Representatives...



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