Egypt parliament to start national dialogue sessions on constitutional amendments next week

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Mar 2019

File Photo: Egypt's Parliament (Reuters)

The Egyptian parliament's legislative and constitutional affairs committee announced on Tuesday that the country's newly proposed constitutional amendments will be discussed in a two-week national dialogue starting next week.

Committee undersecretary Ahmed Helmi El-Sherif told reporters that the national dialogue will be held over six sessions, with three session held each week.

The sessions will start at 4pm each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the House of Representative in Cairo, and will be attended by constitutional and legal experts.

He added that the legislative and constitutional affairs committee will resume its own meetings to discuss the amendments on 23, 24 and 28 March.  

El-Sherif also said that a sub-committee held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss and revise the wording of the proposed constitutional amendments.

The proposed amendments are to articles 102, 140, 160, 185, 189, 190, 193, 200, 204, 234, 243, and 244 of the 2014 constitution. Newly proposed articles include the formation of an upper chamber of parliament and the appointing of a vice president.

The amendments include extending the presidential term from four to six years and a transitional clause that applies only to the current president, allowing him to run for two more six-year terms after his current term ends in 2022. The amendments also tasks the military as the "guardian of the constitution, democratic principles and the civil state."

The amendments also increase representation in parliament for women, youth, Egyptians abroad, Copts, workers, farmers and the physically challenged.

The majority of MPs provisionally approved the amendments in February.

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