Egypt's constitution curbs president's powers

The powers to be limited cover ability to declare war and state of emergency, issue pardons, call referendums and draw the general policy of the state.

Egypt's constitution curbs president's powers

An initial draft of amendments to Egypt's suspended constitution curbs the executive powers of the country's president, the Anadolu Agency has learnt.

The powers to be limited cover ability to declare war and state of emergency, issue pardons, call referendums and draw the general policy of the state.

An article that defines the president of the republic as the supreme commander of the police council was also removed.

A 50-member committee is currently debating amendments to the country's constitution, suspended by the army with the ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

The main amendments were drafted by a panel of 10 legal experts, who submitted their work to the 50-strong committee, which is tasked with producing a final draft constitution.

Sources within the subcommittee tasked with amending articles on the system of governance said the draft would require the president to get the approval of the military establishment before declaring war in the absence of a sitting parliament, along with that of the National Defense Council.

If a sitting parliament is in place, the president would need the approval of a two-third parliamentary majority as well as the National Defense Council before declaring war.

In the suspended constitution, the president only needed a two-third majority in the parliament to declare war.

In the new draft, the president should get the approval of the government before declaring a state of emergency.

In the suspended constitution, the government's opinion was only advisory.

The president is also obliged to pick a head of the government from the party that wins the majority in parliament.

If the selected premier did not win confidence in the legislature, the parliament would name a prime minister who would be mandated by the president to form the government.

Presidential powers to pardon prisoners were also curbed.

Under the initial draft seen by the AA, the government must approve any presidential pardon.

A presidential decree on a general amnesty should first get the support of a parliamentary majority.

The draft also placed more limitations on presidential candidates, saying that a candidate's parents and offspring must be Egyptian and with no dual citizenship.

Candidates for the presidency should never have carried any other nationality, according to the draft. 

The final draft prepared by the 50-member committee, formed by interim President Adly Mansour, will be put to a popular referendum.

AA

Last Mod: 29 Eylül 2013, 21:49
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