Parliament approves planned constitutional amendments on Tuesday session, April 16- Egypt Today/Khaled Meshaal
CAIRO – 16 April 2019: A total number of 531 Parliamentarians approved, Tuesday a draft report of a number of constitutional amendments presented earlier by its legislative committee. Only 22 parliament members refused the amendments while one member abstained from voting.
By announcing this approval, the parliament is giving the state’s National Elections Authority (NEA) the green light to announce a public referendum within 30 days.
CAIRO - 16 April 2019: The Parliament approved on Tuesday a draft report of a number of constitutional amendments presented earlier by its legislative committee, giving the state's National Elections Authority (NEA) the green light to announce a public referendum within 30 days.
Number of political parties announced in the plenary session on Tuesday, endorsing the amendments including Al-Wafd, Mostaqbal Watan and al-Nour parties. Chairmen of the parliamentary commissions at Mostaqbal Watan Party and Al Wafd Party, Atef Nassef and Hany Abaza, announced their parties' approval of the draft constitutional amendments.
CAIRO - 16 April 2019: Chairmen of the parliamentary commissions at Mostaqbal Watan Party and Al Wafd Party, Atef Nassef and Hany Abaza, respectively, announced in the plenary session on Tuesday their parties' approval of the draft constitutional amendments. Nassef thanked Speaker Ali Abdel Aal for "the professional phrasing of the draft amendments."
Nassef thanked Speaker Ali Abdel Aal for "the professional phrasing of the draft amendments."
The parliament discussions lasted for nearly nine hours, during three following sessions.
Among the approved articles, (Article 102), guaranteeing Egyptian women at least one fourth of the number of the parliamentary seats. Also, (Article 244), ensuring that the youth, Christians, persons with disabilities and Egyptians residing abroad are represented appropriately in the Parliament.
Article 140 of the amended constitution, aims at extending each of the two presidential terms allowed for each president to 6 years instead of only 4. (Article 200-1), reads: "the protection of the constitution, democracy, the basic elements of the state and its civil character, the people's gains and the rights and liberties of individuals" to the armed forces' responsibilities.”
CAIRO -16 April 2019: As a parliamentary legislative subcommittee already approved a proposed set of constitutional amendments, a number of MPs who earlier voiced rejection of the amendments praised the societal dialogue that took place in the Parliament, hoping that more youth could be present.
The approved amendments expand each of the two presidential terms allowed for any president to six years instead of four, while a separate transitional article gives an exceptional right to incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was re-elected in 2018, to run for a third 6-year term after he finishes his second term in 2024 instead of 2022.
The amendments also give the president the right to choose heads of courts, judicial bodies, the Supreme Constitutional Court, and the Attorney General, Egypt's top prosecutor from some nominees. He would also appoint one third of the members of the Shura Council, which was revived, this time under the name "The Senate.”
One of the amendments stipulates that women shall hold quarter the number of seats of the Parliament, while another guarantees a fair representation for peasants, workers, Christians and the disabled. Moreoever, the amendments revive the formerly-dissolved Shura Council under the name “The Senate,” and also give the president the right to appoint one or more deputies.
In mid-February, members of the House of Representatives approved in principle the proposed amendments after the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee in the Parliament reviewed and passed the draft.
The proposal was submitted in the first place by the leader of the majority at the Parliament and President of the Support Egypt Coalition Abdel Hady al-Qasabi to Speaker Abdel Aal earlier in February.
Dialogues with representatives of concerned entities and social segments were held by the Parliament. Parliamentarians belonging to Al Nour Party-affiliated with the Salafist Group-expressed their objection to describing the Egyptian state as a "civil state" and allocating a quota for women representing 25 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives.