Constituent Assembly may extend president’s term to 5 years

The Constituent Assembly is considering extending the president’s term to five years to match the terms of members of Parliament, assembly members said on Monday.

The assembly also intends to do away with the obligatory allocation of 50 percent of parliamentary seats to farmers and workers and reduce the number of members appointed to the Shura Council — as opposed to elected — to 20, as opposed to one-third of the total seats.

Also in Monday’s meeting, the assembly also agreed that a declaration of war needs the approval of both Parliament and the National Defense Council.

Forty-eight articles of the constitution have so far been completed.

“We have added nine new articles,” said assembly member Younis Makhyoun. “They pertain to alms, endowments, agriculture and the blasphemy against God and the prophets.”

Makhyoun added that 99 percent of the thousands of proposals sent to the suggestions committee requested that the Islamic Sharia be the source of legislation. “We have submitted them [the proposals] to the drafting committee,” he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood rejected the addition of an article on alms to the constitution.

Magdi Yacoub asked for articles that allow room for scientific thinking, creativity and innovation for students, and the establishment of government bodies to encourage scientific research.

Meanwhile, certain political parties and Coptic activists continue their call to dissolve the assembly, warning of that it may produce a constitution infused with the ideology of the Brotherhood and the Salafis.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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