Commission favors binding next president to change Constitution

Egypt's Constitutional Ammendments Committee agreed to add an article to the Constitution requiring the president-elect to form a committee within months of taking office to draft a new constitution.

Sources familiar with the matter said that the article provides for establishing a committee of between 100 and 200 members, representing all classes of people.

The sources added that legislative elections and the amendment of Article 76  to ensure independent candidates can run in the presidential elections after obtaining signatures from elected MPs will take place before presidential elections. The proposed amendments will not require candidates to obtain the support of local council members, which remains a point of contention.

The commission is currently drafting the final wording of the amended articles and plans to present it to the Supreme Armed Forces Council within the next two days.

Judicial sources said that the committee agreed to the repeal Article 179, the special anti-terrorism law, which gives the president of the republic the right to try the accused in criminal and terrorism cases in a special court whose judiciary can be determined by the president.

The sources explained that the committee also proposes amending Article 88, which concerns the oversight of parliamentary elections, and calls for full judicial supervision throughout the electoral process.

The sources said members of the committee also are amending Article 77 to limit presidential terms to four or five years starting from the date of announcement of election results. They added that members appear to favor the idea of limiting each presidential term to four years, with the option of seeking reelection for a maximum of four additional years.

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