Egypt's constitutional amendments to be ready mid-April if approved: Parliament Speaker

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Mar 2019

Ali Abdel Aal
Egypt's parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egypt's Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said Sunday that amendments of the Egyptian Constitution are expected to be ready by mid-April if approved by lawmakers.

A statement was issued by Abdel Aal Sunday following a parliamentary session. 

The amendments, submitted by the parliamentary majority Support Egypt coalition on 11 February, involve changes to 11 articles of Egypt's 2014 Constitution: articles 102, 140, 160, 189, 190, 193, 200, 204, 234, 243 and 244. The coalition also proposed that eight new articles be added to the constitution.

According to Abdel-Aal, the amendments have six objectives: to give a greater quota of parliamentary seats (25 percent) to women; to create a second house (Senate); to increase presidential terms from four to six years; to reinstate the post of vice president; to regulate the system for selecting the heads of judicial authorities; and to re-define the role of the army in defending the country.

National dialogue meetings started last week on the proposed constitutional amendments and are expected to continue next week, including Monday, 25 March, and Thursday, 28 March.

Sunday's session witnessed representatives of professional syndicates, private sector companies, leading banking officials, and the Federation of Egyptian Industries and Chambers of Commerce (120 participants) among attendees.

The fifth and sixth hearing sessions will be the most important. These will see 120 officials representing most political parties coming to the Monday meeting (25 March).

In a concluding meeting 28 March, a long list of public figures, constitutional law professors, and representatives of NGOs and civil society organisations (120 participants) are expected to attend.

Correction: An earlier story by Ahram Online eroneously said a referendum on the proposed constitutional amendments would take place 15 April 2019. Rather, the amendments are expected to be passed by parliament mid-April, after which the National Elections Authority will set a date for a public referendum.

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