Fahmi to U.S. Lawmakers: Principles of Constitution Agreed, Respect Will of Egyptian People
Dr. Ahmed Fahmi, Speaker of the Shura Council, affirmed that the Egyptian people will choose their next president by their own free will, underscoring the need to respect the people’s choice.
During a meeting with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – headed by Colorado Senator Mark Udall, the Speaker of the Shura Council said: "We will respect the people’s will and choice, as long as it comes through the ballot box in free and fair elections".
The meeting with the U.S. congressional delegation was attended by Deputy Speaker of the Shura Council, Mustafa Hamouda; majority leader of the Shura Council, MP Ali Fateh Al-Bab; head of the parliamentary bloc of the Nour party, MP Abdullah Badran; Chairman of the two Committees on Arab and Foreign Affairs and National Security, MP Ridha Fahmi; and Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, MP Mohamed Abdul-Majid Al-Fiqi.
Dr. Fahmi expressed hope for an increase in voter turnout in Egypt’s presidential elections run-off slated to take place on June 16 and 17.
"We expect that the United States, with its weight amongst world powers, will regard nations of the world equally – by one standard. He criticized U.S. bias in favor of dictators toppled by their own people through the revolutions witnessed in Arab countries, especially Egypt, as well as U.S. bias for Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people and Arab nations."
Fahmi further said that Egypt looks forward to boosting and strengthening cooperation with the United States in the fields of economy and investment, especially since Egypt has promising capacity, potential and resources that had been misused in the past.
Moreover, the Speaker of the Shura Council assured the U.S. bipartisan delegation that the new regime in Egypt after the January 25 revolution will respect individual freedoms and human rights, with no distinction or discrimination between people, communities and groups on the basis of creed, race or color, and that all the people will be equal citizens in rights and duties before the law.
"We will help segments of society that suffered injustice and marginalization under the former regime, and seek to compensate them for any damage or harm that had befallen them."
In response to a question from the U.S. delegation, Fahmi explained that the general principles of the constitution are agreed upon, and that those provide that the state is civil and confirm respect for public freedoms and human rights as well as the economic system, which will be based on a free economy model that takes into account social justice and criminalizes monopoly.
The Speaker of the Shura Council pointed that some sections of the Constitution still require further discussion and community dialogue, including the chapter on the system of governance.
Asked about Egypt’s vision for events in Syria, Fahmi said that the international community must exercise its role in the imposition of political and economic sanctions on the Syrian regime, which he described as a fascist, racist dictatorship killing innocent Syrian people, including scores of children.
Meanwhile, the U.S. delegation affirmed that it is in the interest of the United States to have good relations with a prosperous Egypt that boasts a strong economy, and that the United States wants close cooperation to attract investments to Egypt.
Further, the U.S. delegation lauded the recent presidential elections, confirming that the first round took place in an atmosphere of freedom and democracy, within the framework of fair competition, adding: "We look forward for the run-off to be held in the same climate, and for Egypt to safely make it through its current transitional phase".
The congressional delegation said, "We look forward for Egypt to write a new Constitution that befits its status as a state with a great history of political and parliamentary tradition".