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ElBaradei calls on Egypt's powers to draft new constitutional addendum

Head of the Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei outlines four key features for new 'consensus' amendments to the Constitutional Declaration to be drafted by state, military, judicial and civil forces

Ahram Online, Wednesday 11 Jul 2012
Mohamed ElBaradei
Former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei (Photo: AP)
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Opposition figure and head of the newly-formed Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei called for President Mohamed Morsi, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), "civil forces" and the judiciary to agree on a new addendum to the interim Constitutional Declaration via his Twitter account, Wednesday.

The celebrated reform campaigner outlined four key features that should be included in the proposed addendum.

The first was that a new constituent assembly be formed to draft a "democratic constitution that guarantees rights and freedoms." However, ElBaradei failed to specify who would appoint this assembly – a point of contention, as the military council awarded itself the power, that is traditionally within parliament’s remit, in the current amended Constituional Declaration.

Secondly, ElBaradei called for "transferring the legislative authority to the Constituent Assembly."

The third is an agreement on the formation of the National Defense Council headed by the "president, the supreme commander of the armed forces.”

As it stands, according to the current Constitutional Declaration the head of the SCAF Field Marshal Tantawi is commander-in-chief of the army, a position that the president formerly held in the now-defunct 1971 constitution.  

The fourth point calls for the intervention and participation of the Armed Forces in maintaining peace inside the country as well protecting the nation internationally, as determined by the National Defense Council.

ElBaradei added, "away from anger and mistrust, we have to start a national conversation, to maintain the identity of the country in order to pass through the transitional phase with peace" and warned that clashes would split the country.

Earlier on Wednesday, eliminated presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi proposed six measures to surpass the currently political crisis, including a national coalition and a new constituent assembly.

The contentious addendum to the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration was issued on 17 June 2012 by the SCAF, two days after the military council dissolved parliament.

ElBaradei, for his part, had called the amendments a "grave setback 4democracy & revolution" on the social media platform, pointing out that it gave the SCAF legislative authorities while stripping the president of any power over the army thereby solidifying the military council’s control.

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