File photo: People sign their names as volunteers from the opposition "Rebel!" campaign stop passengers in the underground to collect signatures for their campaign ahead of a planned anti-Morsi protest at the end of the month, in Cairo June 25, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
Mahmoud Badr, spokesperson of the ‘Rebel’ (Tamarod) movement, has said that the group was “surprised” by the presidency’s constitutional decree.
The group, which spearheaded the 30 June protests that toppled former president Mohamed Morsi, was reportedly unaware of the contents of the 33-article decree that was unveiled by the presidency on Monday night.
“The constitutional decree was not presented to us or Dr. [Mohamed] ElBaradei,” Badr wrote on his official Facebook page. “We were surprised by it, just like everyone else.”
Nobel peace prize laureate ElBaradei and Rebel are both representing the opposition during negotiation talks with Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour.
According to Badr, presidential advisor Moustafa Hegazy has called the group on Tuesday to schedule a meeting between them and President Mansour.
Badr also said that ElBaradei and legal expert Mona Zu El-Fukar are currently making amendments to the decree and will present them to the presidency later on Tuesday. He did not offer details as to which articles they objected to.
“We are keen to ensure the success of the transitional phase until the end,” Badr said.
He pointed out that Rebel also want to see the formation of a new government that “will work quickly to alleviate the suffering of ordinary Egyptians.” Several public figures have been named for the post including ElBaradei, but no final announcement has been made.
Badr also urged Egyptian youth to remain in the squares until this crucial period is over.
According to the temporary charter, the president holds legislative authorities along with the cabinet that shall have a mandatory consultative role.
Legislative authority will be transferred to the parliament’s lower chamber, the House of Representatives which has yet to be elected.
The president is also entitled to approve state policy and budget, and also declare a state of emergency after the approval of cabinet, which is yet to be formed, and in accordance to the law.
The state of emergency, according to the constitutional declaration, can only be implemented for three months and extended for a similar period upon public approval through a national referendum.
According to the declaration, the president will form a committee within 15 days, which will be tasked to amend the frozen 2012 constitution. The committee is given a month-long period to wrap up the amendments.
The committee tasked with amending the 2012 constitution will then refer the amendments to another committee formed of 50 members, who shall represent all layers of society.
The president is to later put the amended version of the constitution to a national referendum within 30 days from receiving the final draft. It will be effective upon public approval.