Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal in Tuesday session – Egypt Today/Khaled Mashaal
CAIRO – 10 April 2019: Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said that he disagrees with some people who only focus on discussing the proposed amendment of Article 140 which extends the presidential term, and ignore the rest of the suggested constitutional 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.
He added in a session on Tuesday that there are many other proposals that have a positive impact on the parliamentary life and the interests of the homeland and citizens, including women empowerment, and continuing to give some sectors of people a proper representation in the parliamentary councils.
Abdel Aal mentioned some of the proposed amendments that he sees as positive, including the creation of the post of vice president, and bringing back the Shura Council that was formerly dissolved.
He also asserted that all the proposed constitutional amendments aim to make constitutional and political reform, and re-formulate the relationship between the authorities, especially the relations linking the judicial authority with other authorities.
Abdel Aal said that the Egyptian House has not yet finalized the wording of the proposed constitutional amendments, expecting that the final outcome would satisfy the public and all the Parliament members.
This came after MP Gamal al-Sherif voiced rejection of the proposed amendments, saying that Egyptians, following the two revolutions in 2011 and 2013, looked forward to having presidents who would rule the country for a specific term.
Regarding the amendment of Article 200 of the Constitution related to the powers granted to the Armed Forces to preserve the “civil” country, Sherif described the wording as “vague and critical” as it does not state the procedures the army can take to achieve that goal.
The speaker said that the parliament has started discussing the procedures of the amendments since February according to precise and specific procedures in the constitution, affirming that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi did not interfere by any means in the constitutional amendments.
"I have repeatedly said … that the president did not intervene in the amendments and did not request them, but [they] were a pure parliamentary seedling … that began since the first year of the House of Representatives’ [term],” the speaker said.