Egypt: Judges Demand Parliament Reject Constitutional Amendments

Counselor Zakariya Abdul Aziz, the chairman of the Egyptian Judges’ Club, called on the independent MPs of the People’s Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, to vote for rejecting the proposed constitutional amendments, with opposition MPs, to reach the rate of one third (about 151 MPs) which is required for dropping the amendments, because they aim at “excluding the judiciary from supervising the elections.”

This call was released on Saturday evening while kicking off a conference organized by the Egyptian Judges’ Club for discussing the expected constitutional amendments; the conference has been attended by about 250 judges and dozens of scholars in the constitutional law in universities and public figures. The conference discussions will last two months, in order to take a final decision towards these amendments in the next general assembly of reform-leaning Judges’ club .

Attempting to prevent ratifying these amendments that- he thinks- are aiming at excluding the judges from supervising elections, counselor Abd Al-Aziz said:” I suggest on the independent MPs to refuse the constitutional amendments proposed by the president who has the right to do so; if one third of the MPs rejected them, this demand will be dropped”, according to a parliament bylaw. He confirmed that ” there already 100 MPs who reject these amendments” in parliament .

Observers considered that counselor Abd Al-Aziz is implicitly directing his call to MPs affiliated to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), not only to independent and opposition MPs. This is because the ruling NDP has about 314 MPs, who give it the ability to enjoy a two-third- majority of parliament seats ( about 300 out of 454 including 10 appointed MPs), a rate that gives it the freedom of amending the constitution, and ratifying emergency laws with no need to opposition or independent votes.

While criticizing the proposed amendments, counselor Abd Al-Aziz warned of the consequences of abusing the constitutional texts related to public freedoms, considering that the main target from the expected amendments is to exclude the judges from fully supervising the general elections.

For his part, counselor Mahmoud Al Khodairi, the chairman of Alexandria’s Judges’ Club said in statements to Ikhwanweb:” There are plans for abusing the constitutional texts related to public freedoms … The main target from amending article 88, that allows the judges to fully supervise over the elections, is to exclude the judges from supervising over the elections”.

Al Khodairi stressed that “This article didn’t need any amendment, unless the regime wanted to introduce rigging-friendly amendments, something that Egyptian judges will not accept; we will never participate in rigged elections”.

Regarding the judges attitude over the pressures exercised by the regime to ratify these amendments, Al Khodairi said:” We are leading people to confront them, and we will not stay motionless while those people are abusing the present and future of Egypt; the Judges Club will always defend freedoms and democracy”.

Regarding calling for holding the elections in only one day, according to the proposed amendments of article 88, Al Khodairi said that:” The Constitutional Court did not confine holding the elections to one day”. He stressed that the 13000-member Judges’ Club will handle all theses issues that will be presented in the conference, so that the club takes a decisive attitude towards these amendments in the next general assembly. The parliament is scheduled to vote on these amendments next April.

It is worth mentioning that 2005 legislative elections were held on 3 stages to enable the judges to supervise them in all Egyptian governorates. The Judges’ Club revealed several violations that were committed during these elections, leading to tense relations between it and the regime.

Judges Activites

4Judges Soften Rhetoric in Their Conflict with Government
Judges will not budge on Ju…
4Court Adjourns Trial of Fou…
4Memo to PA Speaker on Judge…
4Judges Furious Over Governm…

Related Topics:

Mubarak Fails To Silence Egyptian Editor
New York Sun – New York,NY,USA
Egypt passes controversial judicial reform
Legalbrief (subscription) – Durban,South Africa
EGYPT: New law does little to liberalise judicial system, say
Reuters AlertNet – London,England,UK
Egypt: Journalists’ Sentencing Draws Angry Reactions – Washington,USA
Egypt parliament passes bill to strengthen judiciary
Attack on independent press in Egypt
Human Rights Education Associates (press release) – Cambridge,MA,USA
New Egyptian law on judiciary leaves reformers disappointed
Financial Times – London,England,UK
Egyptian Editor Gets Year in Jail for Insult
Voice of America – USA
Egypt justice law ’disappointing’
BBC News – UK
Jailed activists released in Egypt – London,UK
Egypt’s judges have struck a major blow for real democracy
Daily Star – Lebanon – Beirut,Lebanon
EGYPT: Journalists’ sentencing draws angry reactions
Reuters AlertNet – London,England,UK
Egyptian blogger is ordered released
AP via Yahoo! News Tue, 20 Jun 2006 11:07 AM PDT
Mubarak pledges unprecedented reforms in 2007
Middle East Online – London,UK
Arab democracy hopes dashed as Cairo ditches reforms
Times Online – UK
Black and white and Brown
Al-Ahram Weekly – Cairo,Egypt
MIDDLE EAST: Weekly round-up of human rights violations
Reuters AlertNet – London,England,UK
Taking the lead in Egypt – United Kingdom
Mubarak puts brakes on Egypt’s move towards democracy – United Kingdom
Eye of the Storm: Kuwait makes history
Jerusalem Post – Israel
A day to celebrate
Regina Leader-Post – Regina,Saskatchewan,Canada
Egyptian blogger is ordered released
Sacramento Bee – CA, USA
A perilous dance with the Arab Press
Khaleej Times – Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Palestinians and Israelis are in need of a fresh approach
Daily Star – Lebanon – Beirut,Lebanon
Detained democracy activists freed in Egypt – judicial source
Reuters South Africa – Johannesburg,South Africa
“If there Is a Civil War in Iraq, Everyone Will Pay a Price”
Spiegel Online – Berlin,Germany
Egypt police detain Islamists in seaside resort
Reuters South Africa – Johannesburg,South Africa
shifting political currents along the nile
Kansas City Star – MO,USA
Egypt trial put off as court besieged
Gulf Times – Doha,Qatar
Egyptian journos in the dock
AME Info – United Arab Emirates
Egypt police detain Islamists in seaside resort
Reuters South Africa – Johannesburg,South Africa
Protests disrupt trial of Egyptian journalists
Khaleej Times – Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Egyptian journalists on trial for denouncing fraud
Khaleej Times – Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Is the US through with Arab democracy?
Daily Star – Lebanon – Beirut,Lebanon
Judges Join Opposition in Demanding Reform
Inter Press Service (subscription) – Rome,Italy
Mubarak fights on multiple fronts against his own
Daily Star – Lebanon – Beirut,Lebanon
US House of Rep. OK on USD 1.755 bn military, economic aid to …
Kuwait News Agency – Kuwait
Zawahri praises Zarqawi in tape broadcast by al-Jazeera
Turkish Daily News (subscription) – Ankara,Turkey
House Approves Foreign Aid Legislation
Voice of America – USA
Unlikely Reformers: Egyptian Judges Challenge the Regime
Egypt’s new video guerrillas add a twist to social activism
Daily News & Analysis – Mumbai,India
Ferry Report Blames Owners, Corruption
Egypt Today – Cairo,Egypt
US ambassador insists relations on track
Al-Ahram Weekly – Cairo,Egypt
Egypt News – Breaking World Egypt News – The New York Times
World news about Egypt. Breaking news and archival information
Judges steering Egyptian reform
The Dominion – Sackville,New Brunswick,Canada
Referendum no solution
Al-Ahram Weekly – Cairo,Egypt
Space for society
Al-Ahram Weekly – Cairo,Egypt
Ikhwan Complex:
Ikhwanweb -London, UK
Egypt News: Democracy Advocacy group asked to put up shop
Egypt News. To keep people informed
Gihan Shahine delves into the controversy surrounding the …
Al-Ahram Weekly – Cairo,Egypt
The battle for Cairo is just as vital as the one for Baghdad
Guardian Unlimited – UK
Derailing democratisation
Al-Ahram Weekly – Cairo,Egypt
US silence on Egypt betrays democracy activists
Baltimore Sun – United States
AKI – Rome,Italy
Egyptian journalists on trial over vote
Seattle Post Intelligencer – USA