Khaled Ali, NGOs file lawsuit against SCAF's 'constitutional addendum'

Ahram Online, Tuesday 19 Jun 2012

Eliminated leftist presidential candidate files lawsuit challenging military council's new 'constitutional addendum' limiting role, powers of Egypt's next head of state

Khaled Ali
Former presidential candidate Khaled Ali in front of the State Council in March (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Khaled Ali, the leftist candidate knocked out in the first round of Egypt's presidential election, filed a lawsuit Tuesday at the State Council Administrative Court against the addendum to last year's Constitutional Decalaration issued on Sunday by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Three NGOs  the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, and the Egyptian Centre for Social and Economic Rights  were co-signatories to Ali's legal complaint.

The lawsuit states that the constitutional addendum "does not allow any entity to overrule the SCAF... [the addendum] therefore represents a radical change to the heart of the ruling system."

The lawsuit further asserts that the controversial addendum deprives the elected president of the power to declare war; reduces his powers in terms of national security; and grants the SCAF sweeping powers over the constitution-drafting process.

The lawsuit goes on to call for "a popular referendum on the addendum... to determine whether the public approves of these amendments and the radical changes to the ruling system contained therein."

It adds: "The SCAF used the High Constitutional Court ruling dissolving parliament and issued a complete Constitutional Declaration restricting the president's powers. According to these articles [of the addendum], the president will be deprived of his powers to the benefit of the SCAF, making the military council the de facto president of Egypt with control over all things great and small."

According to Ali, the lawsuit "represents a first step against the direct militarisation of political life, since legislative authority is now in the hands of the SCAF."

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