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Egypt constitution committee votes on presidential articles

Egypt's 50-member constitution amending committee has commenced its second and final voting session on Egypt's draft charter

Ahram Online , Sunday 1 Dec 2013
Egypt
Amr Moussa, the chairman of Egypt's 50-member panel tasked with amending Egypt's Islamist-drafted constitution, speaks during a press conference at the upper house of parliament, the Shoura Council, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, (Photo: AP).
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The 50-member committee tasked with writing a new constitution for Egypt commenced its second voting session on Sunday, in schedule with plans to finish readying the draft charter for a national referendum.

Voting continued on Chapter 5 of the draft charter, which will determine the country's system of governance.

Under Section 2 of Chapter 5 – The Executive – article 141 of the draft constitution stipulates that a president may serve for only four years and be reelected only once. The article was passed with 46 votes and one abstention.

Article 146 of the same section – which passed with 44 votes in favor, three against, and two abstentions – states that the president will nominate the head of the cabinet who will submit his cabinet program for parliamentary approval. If parliament does not agree over the submitted program, the majority party or coalition will then nominate another cabinet leader for a parliamentary majority vote. Otherwise parliament will be dissolved and a new one elected within the stipulated period of 60 days.

Article 153, passed by a unanimous 48 votes, specifies that a state of emergency can only be instituted by a parliamentary majority for a maximum period of three months. An extension can only occur through a two-thirds vote by parliament.

In Saturday's session, forty-eight members of the committee passed 138 articles, as well as the constitution's preamble. The committee's spokesperson, Mohamed Salmawy, said that 49 members attended Sunday's session.

Members of the committee completed voting on Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4, which included articles on rights and freedoms, and the principle foundations of the state and society.

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