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Egypt: Hearing Sessions on Constitutional Amendments to Begin Soon

Egypt: Hearing Sessions on Constitutional Amendments to Begin Soon

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019 - 12:30
Egyptian Parliament (AFP)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Egyptian parliament will begin hearing sessions next week for a number of public and legal figures on the draft of constitutional amendments, which would allow extending the presidential term from four to six years and a transitional clause that applies to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to run for two more terms.

Secretary of the Legislative and Constitutional Parliamentary Committee, MP Ihab al-Tamawi announced that hearings and discussions will last two weeks over six sessions, in order to hear the competent bodies and public figures, professors of constitutional law, and the media.

Egypt’s House of Representatives voted last month on an initial approval for the newly-proposed amendments to the 2014 Constitution, with a total of 485 out 569 of lawmakers approving the suggested amendments.

Speaker Ali Abdel Aal asserted that the amendments serve the Egyptian people and the higher interests of the state.

The Legislative and Constitutional committee is due to finalize the proposals within two months at the latest, and submit them to for voting at the plenary session before calling on Egyptians to a referendum, most likely in May.

Last June, Sisi took the oath of office for the second term after he won the elections in which he ran against one candidate.

Article 140 of the current constitution determines the term of office with four years and allows “re-election only once.”

Earlier, head of the Committee Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka announced that preparations for consultations on the amendments have already begun.

He asserted that the hearing sessions will be open and could be broadcast live on television.

“We aim to hold hearing sessions on the proposed amendments to listen to views of all political forces and civil society representatives in a transparent way,” said Abu Shoka.

He also indicated that the Committee will invite constitutional law professors, judges, members of specialized national councils, the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the National Council for Women, the National Council for Human Rights, professional syndicates, political parties, and trade unions.

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