The Political System Committee of the Constituent Assembly tasked with writing Egypt's new constitution has proposed two noteworthy articles: one that gives the president, parliament and prosecutor-general the right to send the prime minister and other ministers to trial if they violate the law while in office; the second establishing that government officials accused must relinquish their posts until their case is closed. If a minister choses to resign, or if his or her tenure is over, this would not close any pending legal case.
The first article proposes that for parliament to send a cabinet official to trial at least five members of parliament should propose the accusation and at least one-third of parliament should approve the accusation.
The constitution drafting Constituent Assembly is divided into groups, each with a different specialisation. The Political System Committee is one subgroup.
Earlier, Prime Minister Hisham Kandil revealed that a draft of the country's new constitution will be ready for approval by a nationwide referendum by the end of September, according to a report of the state-run MENA news agency.
The Constituent Assembly is yet to announce a date for the completion of the draft. Kandil does not officially represent the drafting body.
The assembly remains at risk of dissolution, however, pending a court ruling slated for September. The constitutionality of the Constituent Assembly has been brought into question, because it was appointed by Egypt's parliament, whose lower house — the People's Assembly — was dissolved on the basis of a ruling by the High Constitutional Court that declared the law that regulated 2011's November parliamentary elections unconstitutional.
If the Constituent Assembly is found unconstitutional and dissolved, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi will be entitled to form a new body to draft the charter.