• July 25, 2012
  • 8 minutes read

Constituent Assembly Seeks to Hear ElBaradei, Zewail and Al-Baz Views, Suggestions

Constituent Assembly Seeks to Hear ElBaradei, Zewail and Al-Baz Views, Suggestions

In a meeting on Tuesday, members of the Constituent Assembly (CA) entrusted with drafting Egypt’s new Constitution reviewed activity of the five Special Committees over the last period.

Dr. Mohamed Beltagy, Chairman of the CA’s Suggestions Committee, affirmed that his committee held 50 meetings, received 6500 proposals and made 12 field visits to various provinces and 9 visits to Egyptian universities.

He pointed that the Suggestions Committee will be making more visits, to the provinces of Alexandria, Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Suez, Port Said, South Sinai and North Sinai, next week.

Dr. Beltagy further added that some of his committee’s foreign visits will include Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Riyadh), Kuwait, Dubai and the USA. He also mentioned that arrangements are underway for hearing sessions with Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Dr. Ahmed Zewail, Dr. Magdy Yacoub and Dr. Farouk El-Baz.

Meanwhile, Dr. Manal Al-Tibi said, "Last week, the Committee on Rights and Freedoms (CRF) held two meetings, agreed upon 3 new articles, including the right to health-care, where the state provides all health services through a worthy service framework, regardless of citizens’ financial resources. The CRF also agreed that free emergency medical treatment must not be withheld from any citizen.

The CRF also discussed the right to work. It discussed the State’s commitment to set minimum and maximum wages, and the right to join strikes and sit-ins within the bounds  of the law.

Moreover, the CRF discussed the right to property, and that expropriation for the public benefit can only be through an administrative decision, giving property-holders the right to challenge that decision in courts of law, so such decisions would indeed be for public benefit, not for some stakeholders.

Furthermore, Dr. Tibi mentioned that the CRF received 161 suggestions. "The CRF is working within the framework of more than 14 comparative constitutions. It is yet to discuss the rights of women and children, and culture".

For his part, Gamal Gebriel, rapporteur of the System of Governance Committee (SGC), affirmed that after his committee completes its work, it will set down texts for transitional period governments and how to carry out the tasks relating to the issuance of laws and decisions during such periods and how power should be transferred.

Gebriel further said, "The SGC is nearing completion of articles related to the executive and legislative authorities and the relationship between these authorities. The President of the Republic will have functions exercised through the government and other functions he exercises independently of the government".

In the meantime, the Committee for Defense and National Security (DNS) discussed the status of the armed forces. The DNS emphasized that it was agreed in principle that the armed forces belong to the people, that its mission is protecting the homeland and its borders, and that the President of the Republic is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

It has also been agreed that the Minister of Defense is the Commander of the Armed Forces, and that a National Defense Council shall be formed, comprising 9 civilians and 9 military personnel, headed by the President of the Republic.

According to the DNS, the President of the Republic has the right to decide on going to war, after the approval of the People’s Assembly (lower house of Parliament), and after consulting the National Defense Council.