MB: The system’s constitutional flaws must be effectively removed to ensure successful process

MB: The system’s constitutional flaws must be effectively removed to ensure successful process

Lawyer Sobhi Saleh chosen on the 10-man committee to propose amendments to the constitution stated progress reports would be issued late Sunday to highlight the planned changes.

The Muslim Brotherhood member stressed that although a new constitution is a long-term goal it was imperative that the systems flaws be effectively removed to help the process along. He ascertained that the people’s will was the most important factor in this process.

The council formed by Egypt’s military rulers was given 10 days to draw up the proposals, which will be put to a referendum within two months.

 The MB explained that drafting a completely new constitution would only be possible in the event of stable political institutions and established political forces to guide the process.

According to Saleh an amendment to allow the first multi-candidate presidential race in 2005 effectively prevented a realistic challenge to Mubarak, the ruling party candidate and judges were increasingly sidelined from monitoring elections, which were routinely rigged.

Hence he noted that “The committee will propose amendments to article 76 allowing three ways to run for presidency giving the people control over the electoral process”.

Changes would include the governing of rules for political parties fielding candidates allowing an independent candidate to gather signatures from citizens to run. As yet the number of signatures has not been determined.

The suspended constitution had formerly stipulated an independent needed 250 signatures from elected members of parliament and local councils, deeming it an impossible task since all the bodies were stacked full of members of the ousted Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.

 Saleh maintained that the committee was a technical one formed to remove “constitutional flaws” to aid the transitional period and not to rewrite it.

Calls were also made to amendments to article 76, 77, 88, 93, 179 and 189 covering issues including judicial supervision of elections, presidential terms and use of military justice.

He asserted that articles already announced will be amended but there will be suggestions to amend another set of articles necessary and linked to the main ones, to ensure ensuring the constitution is not contradictory after the amendment process.