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Sunday, 16 June 2019

Egypt parliamentary sub-committee to prepare report for MPs on constitutional amendments

The report will be used in putting together the final draft of the proposed amendments to Egypt's 2014 constitution

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 2 Apr 2019
Parliament
Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
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A 13-member sub-committee will finish a report on proposed amendments to Egypt's constitution on Wednesday, according to Bahaaeddin Abu Shoqa, leader of the Wafd Party and chairman of parliament's legislative and constitutional affairs committee.

In a meeting held on Sunday, Abu Shoqa indicated that a sub-committee headed by MP Ahmed Helmi El-Sherif, deputy chairman of the legislative affairs committee, will be entrusted with collecting all the remarks and comments which were sent to parliament in a written form or expressed in during the national dialogue held between 20 and 28 March.

"The committee will finish its job on Wednesday 3 April, so that a report be prepared and made available to all MPs," said Abu Shoqa, adding that "it is not the job of the committee to give any opinion on the comments and remarks, but just to collect and classify them in a detailed report."

"It is very important that ahead of the final vote in parliament all MPs take note of all the remarks and comments on the proposed constitutional amendments in a detailed report," said Abu Shoqa, also indicating that "this is the final step before the legislative and constitutional affairs committee meets next week to put together the final draft of the amendments, which will be a matter of vote in parliament when it reconvenes on 14 April."

El-Sherif told reporters on Monday that the sub-committee is being mobilised to finish its report on Wednesday.

"We are holding meetings every day so that we can prepare a report that will make it very easy for all MPs to read and review ahead of the final vote," said El-Sherif, adding that "for each article, all MPs will see in the report what kind of comments were introduced and by whom, and why."

Members of the subcommittee include Nabil El-Gammal, Tharwat Bekheit, Salah Hassaballah, Mohamed Madina, Mostafa Selim, Sharie Saleh, Shadia Khodeir, Mohamed Salah Karim, Gihad Amer, Kamal Ahmed, Ihab El-Tamawy, and Mohamed Salah Khalifa.

Abu Shoqa said the sub-committee's report will include copies of written comments and remarks on the proposed constitutional amendments.

"We received comments and remarks from different state authorities, MPs, civil society organisations and public figures, and we want all MPs and the media to take note of these and to know who said what in the national dialogue because this goes in line with the principle of transparency, and because we have nothing to hide," said Abu Shoqa, indicating that "all the written comments have been sent to the committee over one month, or between 16 February and 16 March."

On 3 February, the Support Egypt coalition, which is in the majority, submitted proposed amendments to Egypt's 2014 constitution to parliament.

After getting a provisional approval in parliament in a plenary session on 14 February, the door was opened for all sectors of society to give their remarks and comments on the amendments. A series of national dialogue hearing sessions were also held between 20 and 28 March.

Parliament is expected to take the final vote on the proposed amendments by the middle of April. A public referendum is also expected in the last week of April.

The amendments aim to allocate a greater number of seats (25 percent) to women in parliament, reinstate the post of vice president, recreate a second house, and increase the presidential term from four to six years.

 

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