Jurists call for constitutional amendments ahead of poll

Jurists call for constitutional amendments ahead of poll

Jurists who participated in a conference titled “supervision and judicial oversight; cancellation or fair elections” called for the legislative reforms to be taken ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections and the amending of Article 76 of the Constitution. They stressed that this undergoes weakness in the legal drafting depicted as being closer to the detailed clauses of statute.

In the final communiqué of the conference organized by the Arab Center for Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP) they called for the abolition of Article 77 of the Egyptian Constitution and the limiting of the Presidential terms to a maximum of two five-year as it was prevalent in the initial drafting ahead of the Constitution of 71. They also called for  the amendments  introduced in 1980 as well as amendment to the text of Article 88 of the Constitution to ensure the judiciary is given complete control over the entire electoral process including full review of the state’s voter roll and  the polling and counting and announcement of final results.

In their statement, they called to amend the text of article 93 of the Constitution meaning to compel the people’s Assembly to comply with decision of the Court of Cessation on the validity of MP’s and amend the bill on political rights”.

It was indicated that the congress will discus ways of forming a higher committee parallel to the Supreme Commission for presidential and parliamentary elections established by the ACIJLP, composed of judges, human rights organizations, law professors, lawyers and public figures to supervise the performance of High Commissions as a  watchdog

They beseeched Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and human rights organizations to create an alliance with active human rights organizations and influential public figures to oversee the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary polls guaranteeing its transparency and integrity.

The importance of taking necessary measures to ensure fairness and transparency of the elections and activate the use of “video conferencing” in the vote counting allowing candidates and representative to monitor the counting and announcement of election results was underscored

Concern regarding the continuing attempts to deflect from the people’s will or the masses of voters with the need to provide guarantees of free choice free of legal and security constraints and pressures of bureaucracy that affect the choices of the voters.

They emphasized that judicial supervision by independent and impartial judges is the only guarantee at this critical stage taking place in Egypt through which the minimum standards of integrity and transparency will be ensured.