In Response to ElBaradei’s Comment, Law Experts Assert Constituent Assembly All-Inclusive, Parliament Fully Legitimate

In Response to ElBaradei’s Comment, Law Experts Assert Constituent Assembly All-Inclusive, Parliament Fully Legitimate

 In a blog post on Twitter, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said regarding the parliament’s decision for its members to form 50 percent of the Constituent Assembly (CA) which will write the country’s Constitution, "A parliament of doubtful legitimacy will form a non-neutral assembly with 50% from majority MPs who will write a constitution for Egypt, not the majority… Constitutional is the source of authority and not vice versa… the maze goes on and on".In another blog entry, he adds that he is awaiting the ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court on the illegality of the recent parliamentary elections.

Commenting on these remarks, in a statement to Ikhwanweb, Mukhtar Ashri, President of the Legal Committee of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said: "This Parliament was established with the first free and fair elections in Egypt in decades.The whole world vouched for their integrity. It was indeed the Supreme Constitutional Court which recommended amending the Constitutional Declaration, so as not to clash with the Law of the People’s Assembly (PA).Thus, the complaint now to be considered by the Supreme Constitutional Court is already doomed. The legitimacy of the elected Egyptian parliament remains intact.

"Indeed, this Parliament was elected by 37 million voters who gave it the right to choose members of the CA to be entrusted with writing this homeland’s first post-revolution Constitution. Moreover, the FJP has confirmed that it will seek to have all hues of Egyptian society represented, without exception, in this Assembly", Ashri added.

Further, Ashri said, "Dr. ElBaradei wants Egypt to return to square one. I advise him to reconsider his statements, because they are based on untruths. They may well be held against him, in the future".

On the same subject, Mahmoud Saqqa, a law professor and head of the parliamentary Commission of the Wafd Party, stressed that the criteria for selecting members of the CA have been determined in an exceptionally logical manner, explaining that everyone expressed their views, all parties, institutions and stakeholders were engaged and consulted, also all sectors and components of Egyptian society were asked for their opinion in this regard.

In a statement, Dr. Saqqa criticized those who suggest that Parliament has no right to be represented in the CA, pointing out that this view is totally incorrect. He added: "The People’s Assembly has every right. In fact, no other authority or party has that right. Moreover, MPs have experience and expertise; and they have 19 specialized committees; and each committee can have in-depth knowledge of all the work pertaining to any section of the constitution".

With regard to the supposed unconstitutionality of the PA, Dr. Saqqa said that all considerations were taken into account before the elections and the formation of the PA, precisely for the purpose of establishing a 100% legislative institution, in terms of procedural, constitutional and legal perspectives.