Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1429, (7 - 13 February 2019)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1429, (7 - 13 February 2019)

Ahram Weekly

Proposed constitutional amendments

Al-Ahram Weekly

Seventeen constitutional amendments have been proposed by the majority Support Egypt parliamentary bloc, and two new articles for inclusion in the constitution.

Article 102, first paragraph: Changes seek to reduce the number of elected MPs in the House of Representatives from 596 to 450, with at least 25 per cent of seats reserved for women.

Some MPs argue the quota violates the principle of equality and could be ruled unconstitutional.

There are currently 90 women in parliament, the highest in Egypt’s history.

Article 102, third paragraph: It is proposed the law regulating the performance and election of the House of Representatives be changed in line with the above article.

Article 140: The president of the republic shall be elected for six (instead of four) years, and cannot remain in office for more than two consecutive terms.

Transitional article: The current president can be re-elected at the end of his current tenure in line with the amended Article 140, meaning he can serve an additional two terms.

Article 160, first paragraph: If the president is unable to perform his duties he will be replaced by the vice president, or the prime minister if there is no vice president.

Article 160, last paragraph: In the event a vice president or other caretaker president takes office they cannot amend the constitution, dissolve the House of Representatives or the Upper House or dismiss the government.

Article 185: Creates a higher council of judicial authorities chaired by the president. The council will draft a new instrument for selecting the heads of judicial authorities.

Article 190: The State Council will be solely responsible for revising draft laws and decrees.

Article 189 and 193: Changes seek to standardise the mechanisms for selecting the prosecutor-general and the chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court and his deputy.

Articles 200 and 204: Give military courts the exclusive right to hear all cases involving military crimes.

Articles 234, 243 and 244: Make the appointment of the minister of defence conditional upon the approval of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, and increase the representation of women, young people, expatriates, Copts, workers, farmers and the physically challenged in parliament.

Articles 211 and 212: It is proposed the two articles regulating the National Press Organisation and the National Media Organisation be revoked.

Two new articles are proposed establishing an upper house, to be known as the Senate, comprising a maximum of 250 members, two thirds elected and one third appointed by the president. The Senate will take charge of debating the budget and development plans, constitutional affairs, foreign agreements and draft laws. Members will sit for five-year terms and must be over 35.

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