Tuesday 28 February 2012

Highlights Of The Proposed Egypt Constitution By The Muslim Brotherhood?

The 30 men who drafted the Egyptian Constitution of 1923

I just read an article on Al Youm El Sab'ea on the proposed vision for the Egyptian Constitution by the Muslim Brotherhood. We still have not seen this proposal document yet, but the site/paper says that Sobhy Saleh (controversial MB high ranking member, who was also part of SCAF's Constitutional Amendments committee) did give out a few details:

1- The constitution would be based on the French system, a Semi-Presidential (Hybrid) system. (That remains a point of wide agreement amongst most visible political factions.)

2- The President would have full powers with regards to foreign policy, defence and national security issues, while parliament would hold greater power on domestic affairs.

3- The President would not be able to choose the Prime Minister or members of the cabinet, who would be selected by Parliament.

4- The President would not be able to dissolve parliament, or dismiss the cabinet or municipal councils without a national referendum.

5- The President would only be able to declare a state of emergency for 15 days, after which a referendum would be necessary for any extensions.

6- The President's term is 4 years. If he in unable to perform his duties, the Prime Minister would take over power, and not the Speaker of Parliament.

7- Article two remains in its present form.

Now, I have qualms with the reporting of Al Youm El Sab'ea, but these points seem to be in line with much of the rhetoric and speculation surrounding the MB's ideas for the constitution. It reflects both a confidence and recognition of their power as dominant political force on the ground and in parliament, while also mindful of the historic and cultural significance of a strong singular leader in the Egyptian State, as well as the desires of other political forces to have "a chance" at a potential counter-balancing act against the MB dominance of the Parliament.

Personally, I have always been somewhat of a fan a hybrid system of sorts, but lately I have been developing some stronger admiration for the theoretical background behind the American Presidential system. Extended political paralysis in France during periods of Cohabitation (when the President and PM come from different political parties and ideologies) have shown the world how ineffective the Semi-Presidential mixed system could become. But no system is without downsides. I remain undecided as to where my final preference would be, till now at least.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments in the section below.

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