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Egypt Panel approved New Draft Constitution

Dec 2, 2013 16:01 IST

An Egyptian constitutional panel on 1 December 2013 approved a new draft constitution for Egypt Government.

50-member constitution-drafting panel headed by Amre Moussa approved draft-constitution, which contains 247 Articles. According to the country’s officials, the referendum on the draft constitution is to be held in January 2014.

Key provision in the new draft Constitution

Presidential powers

• President to only serve two four-year terms.
• Candidates must be at least 40 years old.
• President appoints prime minister.
• President can dismiss the government with the approval of the majority of parliament.
 
Military Powers

• It gives more power to military, including an article that allows trial of civilians in martial courts.
• Military budget to be discussed by a national defence council.
• The defense minister must be appointed in agreement with the military.

Religion

• Islamic law, or sharia, the main source of legislation.
• Political parties may not be formed on the basis of religion.

Freedom and rights

• Political parties cannot be formed on the basis of gender, race, sect or geography.
• Parties must not have military or paramilitary components.
• Citizens have the right to organise public meetings and demonstrations and all forms of peaceful protests.

Background

  1. Egypt is witnessing a political crisis since the resignation of the long-serving leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 (During the Arab spring).
  2. The country is deeply divided between Islamist and secular groups, while the Egyptian military remains the country's chief decision-maker.
  3. The first democratic elections held for Egypt in December 2011, and won by the Islamist-Muslim Brotherhood group. But Egypt’s first democratically elected parliament was dissolved in June 2012.
  4. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi won the presidential elections in June 2012.
  5. In July 2013, Egyptian army ousted Morsi’s government, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament and army appointed Mansour as the new interim president.
  6. The interim authorities suspended the previous constitution written under Morsi’s government and appointed new panel for new constitution in September 2013.

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