By Ibrahim Al-Masri
A number of committees within the Constituent Assembly have finished drafting new articles, in particular the Freedoms and Rights Committee which has presented a new article regarding physically disabled citizens, according to Mohamed Salmawy, spokesman for the assembly.
The article would hold the state accountable for providing care to both able and disabled citizens in accordance with international standards, in addition to providing them with equal representation based on the law.
In a press conference held regarding the amendment of Article 64, which allows citizens to participate in public life, a sentence was added forbidding the use of places of worship for the purpose of political mobilisation, and granting every citizen the right to campaign in elections.
Text was further added holding the state accountable for protecting the rights and freedoms of Egyptians living abroad, and encouraging them to take part in state development.
Salmawy stated that the former Shura Council would be dissolved and replaced with the Senate, which would differ from the former in terms of its electoral process, the appointment of its members, tasks and workload.
Mohamed Abdel Aziz, member of the judicial systems committee, stated that no standards had yet been set regarding the election of Shura Council members, saying that legislation regarding the election of Senate members would be different from that of those within the House of Representatives. He added that although the Shura Council budget was not large, it was more than the EGP150m set aside for it in 2011.
He added that the dual house system existed in 77 countries, and is used as a means of providing checks and balances and exercising legislative restraint in the event that the president and his party are elected to control both the executive and legislative branches. He added that a legislative revolution was needed, and that separate laws would be created regarding the election of members to the Senate and House of Representatives.
Abdel Aziz added that the existence of the Senate will allow marginalised groups such as women to achieve equal representation.