Egypt's 2014 constitution was written with good intentions but is not enough: Sisi

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Sep 2015

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi also said on Sunday that he will not tolerate corruption in the country's cabinet following the resignation and arrest of Agriculture Minister Salah Helal

El Sisi
Presidnet Abdel Fatah El-Sisi (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Sunday that the 2014 constitution gave the parliament wider powers than the president out of "good will" but that this is not good enough to govern a state.

Experts have suggested that the 2014 constitution gave wider powers to the parliament comparable to that of the president as the two will share the duty of naming the prime minster and assigning top state officials.

According to Article 146 of the 2014 constitution, while the president has the right to appoint a prime minister, parliament must approve any new cabinet through a vote of confidence on its proposed programme.

The article stipulates that "if the president's government does not win the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives within thirty days at most, the president shall appoint a prime minister who is nominated by the party or the coalition that holds the majority or the highest number of seats in the House of Representatives."

El-Sisi also encouraged on Sunday younger generations of Egyptians to vote in the elections, and added that he will not recommend any particular candidates for people to vote for.

"I also ask the youth to vote in the elections. I won't praise a certain candidate or any party based list and I won't ask you to vote for any particular candidate. You are a generation which will never be broken," he added.

Egypt's new parliament will comprise of 596 MPs, with 448 independents and 120 party-based deputies. As many as 28 MPs will be appointed by the president.

The parliamentary elections will take place in October, November and December.

Sisi vowed that he will show "no mercy towards corruption or people who are found to be corrupt," in reference to the outgoing agriculture minister Salah Helal who was forced to resign last week and then arrested on charges of corruption.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab also resigned, along with the cabinet.

However, Sisi said that the prime minister and cabinet's resignation does not necessarily suggest that all the ministers are involved in corruption, following media reports suggesting that the outgoing ministers might be investigated on such charges.  

"[The prime minister and cabinets] resignation does not mean that all the ministers and the officials are corrupt," he said.   

On Saturday, El-Sisi ordered the cabinet to continue carrying out their current responsibilities until a new cabinet is formed, appointing Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail as prime minister to carry out these duties.

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