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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Egypt’s Shura Counsil could be eliminated in the new Constitution

Egyptian Constitution
(Image: Al Masry Al-Youm)
After long debates among the members of the Constitutional Committee tasked with the amending 2012 Constitution the decision was taken to eliminate the Shura Council (Upper House of Egypt’s Parliament) from the political system of the country.

There have been many debates regarding the issue of the Upper House of the Parliament which has played consultative role according to the previous national charter. Many representatives of the 50-member Constitutional Committee have suggested the removing and eliminating of the Shura Council as a legislative body claiming it is “toothless” and was often used for money squandering and agitation for the political interests of some specific groups using their influence on media bodies etc.

During the session of the Constitutional Committee held on 7 November the members have voted in favor of dismissing Shura Council, according to the statement of Amr Moussa, chairman of the Committee.

23 members of the 50-member Committee have voted in favor of the taken decision while 19 representatives have voted against it. There was also one abstention, and 7 other members were absent during the voting process.

Thus Egyptian legislative system is expected to be unicameral with the Upper House to be eliminated. These changes will apply in case the draft of the Constitution will be supported by Egyptian citizens during the national referendum.

It’s worth mentioning also that Egypt’s Constitutional Committee has almost finalized its work on the draft of the amended 2012 Constitution and the discussions over the controversial articles and chapters are ongoing. The current sessions of the Committee are closed on order to avoid possible misinterpretations by the media and rumors and speculations. The final discussion over the Constitution’s draft is expected to be held in December and it will be public. After the draft will be discussed and finalized, it will be sent for approval to Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour. The next stage is national referendum. If the draft of the national charter will be supported by people, the Constitution will be declared valid and the parliamentary and presidential elections dates will be set.