Egypt: Democratic Front Party Calls for New Constitution
The Democratic Front Party held a conference which embraced a host of intellectual and political elites foremost among whom were renown Ahram columnist Salama Ahmed Salama, Political Sciences Professor Dr. Hassan Nafeaa, Constitutional Law Professor Dr. Atef el Banna, and Economy Professor Dr. Abdul Hamid el Ghazali for the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Chief Justice Saeed el Gamal.
The party, which has not been licensed yet, meant by this conference to voice its attitude toward the constitutional amendments proposed by the government.
In his word, Constitutional Law Professor Dr. Yahya el Gamal called for founding a popular and elected body of one hundred figures representing all spectrums of society with a view to lay out a new constitution for Egypt to substitute the 1971 one “which is irrelevant to changes Egypt has undergone since the seventies either in the political, economic and social realms.”
El Gamal lashed out at the constitutional amendments introduced during late president Sadat which he said were headed to worse; citing the president’s stay in power for more than two terms ” This turns the president into a despotic tyrant” he said, pointing out the party’s vision as regards a new constitution based on the freedom of forming parties except the military and religious ones, as well as the unconditional freedom of any Egyptian to run for president, with the President’s maximum stay in power being restricted to two five -year terms in office.
The chief justice also called for reconciling the executive authority with the Legislative and Judiciary ones, citing the American republican system of rule which empowers the Congress and Higher Court to limit the President’s authority in a way that strikes a balance between the authorities,” unlike the Egyptian 1971 constitution which gives way for the president to hold full reins of power, ending up into an autocratic ruler with a totalitarian regime.”, he lamented.
This vision was confirmed by Agent of Democratic Front Party co founders Dr.Usama el Ghazali Harb (formerly a ruling NDP figure), who decried the unprecedented deterioration which Egypt has reached an in all aspects of life.”
A country of Egypt’s caliber should not live in political vacuum which could lead to widespread chaos”, he warned, calling for a new constitution securing freedom of the civil society as well as national mass media establishments to replace the state – owned, obsolete ones.
In an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb, Dr. Harb lashed out at the Egyptian regime, rejecting amendments of the incumbent constitution and calling for wording a new one instead.
In his first conference since he resigned from the ruling party, Harb said that the situation has reached such a deteriorating state of affairs that the entire political system needs a complete change especially amid the current political vacuum in Egypt at this very juncture.
He pointed out that such a deteriorating political condition should not be addressed with slogans and conferences, adding that his party, in coordination with other political forces, will seek to change rather than amend the constitution.
On participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in this conference, Harb said that” we seek to form a national political front that encompasses all political forces to encounter the constitutional amendments which the ruling party seeks to pass.
“These government amendments of the constitution could end up consolidating totalitarian rule and monopoly of power in Egypt for years to come”, he warned.