Seven instant changes occur in Egypt after constitution's ratification

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Dec 2012

Seven political and legal changes will take place immediately in Egypt after the new constitution passed; ten more changes must be carried out in the near future

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi signs a decree to put into effect the new constitution in Cairo December 25, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Anadolu Agency has issued a report on the political and legal changes that will take place in Egypt after the ratification of the constitution passed by referendum this week.

The report lists the following seven immediate changes:

1.     Cancelling all constitutional declarations issued by SCAF (the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) and President Mohamed Morsi.

2.     Downsizing the number of High Constitutional Court members from 19 to 11 based upon seniority and changing the nature of its work as it will supervise only political rights, parliamentary and presidential laws.

3.     All leading members of the ex-National Democratic Party (NDP) are banned from any political activities. The constitution identifies the leading members of the NDP as “those who had been on 25 January 2011 members in the general secretariat of the NDP or its policies committee or its political executive office or former members in the parliament (the two chambers) in the two parliamentary seasons prior to the revolution."

4.     Parliamentary elections will be held according to electoral lists and individual candidates “2/3-1/3” systems.

5.     The High Referendum Commission will supervise the first parliamentary elections.

6.     Citizens will be granted the personal rights, and civilian and political rights mention in the Freedoms chapter and Civilian Rights chapter of the constitution.

7.     The controversial Constituent Assembly will dissolve.

The report also details expected future changes, whether laws to be drafted or organising councils to be founded, as listed in the new constitution.

For example, there are 10 councils or bodies awaiting new laws to determine whether they will replace existing councils or will be founded independently.

These councils are:

1.    The National Security Council whose mission is to face crises of different kinds and establish security strategies for the country.

2.    The National Defence Council whose mission is to organise and administer the affairs of the Egyptian Armed Forces, including its budget.

3.    A counter-corruption commission whose mission is to fight corruption and conflicts of interest as well to spread the values of integrity and transparency via a national anti-corruption strategy.

4.    A high commission for heritage preservation whose mission is to preserve Egypt's social and cultural heritage.

5.    A high commission for endowment affairs whose mission is to organise and manage endowments in Egypt.

6.    A national agency for the press and media whose mission is to administer state-owned press corporations.

7.    A national council for media whose mission is to manage radio and TV broadcasting in Egypt

8.    A national council for education and scientific research whose mission is to put forward a national strategy for education and scientific research in Egypt.

9.    A social and economic council whose mission is to support social dialogue in preparing economic, political, social and environmental policies.

10. A national commission for elections who mission is to organise elections processes in Egypt.

The Anadolu Agency report also included 19 laws expected to be issued by the Shura Council and later by the People's Assembly. Among these laws are the parliamentary elections law, the minimum and maximum wage limit, the pensions and national solidarity law, the Sheikh Al-Azhar elections law, the local council and municipality law, the military judiciary law, and the NGOs law.

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