National Powers Reject Constitutional Amendments

National Powers Reject Constitutional Amendments, Demand National Change Coalition
Prominent political and human rights activists expressed their outright rejection to National Democratic Party’s (NDP) monopolizing constitutional amendments, and its desperate attempts to do the constitutional amendments excluding other national powers in an attempt to marginalize the role of the opposition and civil society organizations in participating in the ongoing dialogue over approving the new constitutional amendments .
They confirmed- during a round table held by the freedoms committee in the Bar Association today on Monday Jan. 8, 2007, at the beginning of launching a campaign entitled “A Constitution in the Arms of the Homeland”, their outright rejection to these attempts; also, they confirmed that putting pre-conditions for the amendments or banning making any amendment on some articles in the constitution means giving a blow to the demands and making the amendments meaningless.
They suggested that only dialogue and agreement are the only means for approving the amendments; they also demanded the political leadership to allow the expected amendments be consistent with the laws adopted in civilized countries, including a democratic method in the rule and administration in order to meet the aspirations of people who love freedom and hate injustice and corruption .
At the beginning, Dr. Atef Al Banna, a constitutional law professor at Cairo University , confirmed that there can’t be a real constitutional reform without having a parliamentary system in which the president is a symbol of the country, while the actual power is held by the government.
He noted that the issue of introducing constitution amendment, and even drafting a new constitution, has been delayed so much; this is because there are many constitutional texts that need amendments; however, when the issue of amending the constitution was raised, they restricted it to amending only one article, and even this amendment was bad; consequently, what is required is holding many amendments, topped by article 76 which needs to be amended again because its latest amendment aimed mostly at depriving independents from nominating and running for the presidential elections.
Al Banna demanded introducing amendment to other articles, particularly those related to the system of rule, the executive authority including both the president and the Cabinet and the texts related to the legislative authority; otherwise, the Prime Minister will remain an affiliate to the president; he must be given his independent power.
Al Banna attacked the regime’s attempt to rule the countries with a police fist, through replacing the temporary state of emergency with a permanent anti-terrorism law.
For his part, counselor Mahmoud Al Khodairi, the deputy chairman of Alexandria’s Judges’ Club and deputy chief justice of the Court of Cassation, denounced the regime’s attempts of canceling the judicial supervision over the elections, through amending article 88 after the National Democratic Party was defeated in the last parliamentary elections and its conviction that it has no place in the political life under honorable and fair elections; this made the regime stop short of holding the elections in 6 constituencies until now; chief justice Al Khodairi demanded that the regime can seek help from international monitors if it fears the Egyptian honorable judges.
The chairman of Alexandria’s Judges’ Club denounced also the president’s insistence on appointing a Vice-President as prescribed by the constitution and laws, although the conspiracy theory believed by some, says that this is for the sake of Tawreeth (hereditary transfer of rule to Mubarak Jr.) and to open the door for the sole successor to assume power smoothly without any competition from a Vice-President who may consider himself worthier to assume the post.
For this reason, the President suggested amending the first item of articles 82 and 84 and the second item of article 85, to allow the Prime Minister to replace the president when there is a temporary or permanent reason that prevented the latter from assuming his post or if the latter is sued before justice, in only some of his powers excluding authorities which may be effective in the political life like dissolving the government or dissolving the People’s Assembly.
As for Dr. Gamal Zahran, a professor of political sciences and MP, he demanded the president to necessarily withdraw these amendments which were very hastily and quickly prepared, increasing suspicions around the regime plans and those who tailored them that there are plans for ratifying the scenario of Tawreeth.
He stressed that the amendments must be shown to people for two or three years during which a real national dialogue should be held among political powers which are the ones having this right in the country; he warned that the NDP’s attempts of monopolizing the political process will harm all peoples, not only the Muslim Brotherhood group which the regime wants to exclude from the political life with its amending Article 5 of the constitution.
In his speech, Dr. Ahmed Abu Baraka- a member in the MB parliamentary- attracted the attention to the fact that the proposed amendments are outrightly rejected in principle, because they don’t meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people including all sections, and that they are considered an obstacle in front of the political movement, restrict the public life and deprives the political powers of exercising their political activities, and sending the Egyptian society to the past ages of lawlessness, as it lacks legitimacy due to excluding all political and national powers from participating in drafting a constitution for the country.
Hussein Abdul Razek, the Secretary-General of al Tajammu’ Party, agreed with him and pointed out that the proposed amendments did not affect the core of the current constitution; consequently, they can’t be approved or recognized; this is because we must move from a totalitarian authoritarian society ruled by one party to a democratic society which is based on a peaceful transfer of power.
Mohamed Al Sayyed Idris, a political expert in Al-Ahram center for political studies, pointed out that the ruling regime is exercising a political monopoly of power; the political expert warned the political powers and parliamentarians of attempting to agree in principle with the regime on the proposed constitutional amendments, because this will be a bait from which the regime can achieve it aspirations from these amendments; don’t forget that the National Party refused to form a coalition government, and included independent MPs to be able to monopolize power without intervention form any other power.
He demanded the national powers to exercise more pressures and form a real national coalition to call for a real change to protect the coming generations, blaming the opposition parties for the responsibility of what is happening because they chose to be just a decor in the political life.

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