Amending constitution not on Egypt's national dialogue agenda: Rashwan

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 6 Jul 2022

Discussions over amending the constitution will not be on the agenda of Egypt's national dialogue as the legitimacy of the regime is based on this constitution, said Diaa Rashwan, chairman of the Press Syndicate and coordinator of the national dialogue.

Diaa Rashwan
Diaa Rashwan


Addressing a press conference at the end of the opening meeting of the dialogue on Tuesday night, Rashwan said "Egypt's 2014 constitution was drafted following the overthrow of the one-year despotic rule of Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 and this means that the legitimacy of the current regime of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and even the legitimacy of this state as a whole is based on this constitution."

Besides, argued Rashwan, "all political forces in Egypt respect this constitution and all agree that it is not up for change at the present time."

Rashwan, however, noted that "during the national dialogue debates, it is allowed to discuss turning some constitutional articles and rules into facts on the ground."

He pointed out that "none of those who accepted President El-Sisi's invitation to the national dialogue said that Egypt's 2014 constitution should be amended. 

"In general, we did not receive any preconditions. The political forces have just asked for guarantees that this dialogue's recommendations will be implemented," he added.

Mohamed Salmawy, a notable writer and member of the National Dialogue Board of Trustees, said at a press conference on Tuesday that "the legitimacy of Egypt's current national dialogue comes from three sources.

"First, it is based on an invitation from Egypt's democratically elected president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, second from the overwhelming positive response of the people, public figures and institutions to the president's call for this dialogue, and third from the 2014 constitution which should be the main reference for this dialogue, with each of its 254 articles speaking the language of a modern, civil, and democratic state standing up against all forms of violence."

He added: "Egypt's 2014 constitution is based on the principle of standing against mixing religion with politics.

"This principle reflects the identity of Egypt and its current regime and we should all do our best to translate this principle into facts."

Joining forces, Gouda Abdel-Khalek, a leading member of the leftist Tagammu Party and former minister, said at the opening session that "Egypt's constitution bans mixing religion with politics and stands against forming political parties on religious grounds. Therefore, all political Islam movements – not only the Muslim Brotherhood – can't be invited to this dialogue as their ideologies reject the separation between religion and politics."

On 26 April, President El-Sisi called for a national dialogue that is meant draw up a new political and economic roadmap for Egypt in the coming years.

Short link: