Democratic Alliance presents bill of constitutional principles, condemn Cabinet’s PA law

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By Tamim Elyan

CAIRO: The 28 parties forming the Democratic Alliance presented Thursday a bill of constitutional principles to guide the constituent assembly that will draft the new constitution following PA elections in September.

The bill emphasized guaranteeing public freedoms and citizenship, rotation of power through elections, the independence of the judiciary from the executive authority, combating poverty through establishing a zakat foundation and supporting medium and small projects.

The alliance condemned in a statement Cabinet’s approval of its People’s Assembly (PA) draft law, insisting on the draft law they handed to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) last week.

“The Cabinet issued the draft law without consulting political parties concerned with the elections although the SCAF said that a national dialogue must take place before issuing this law,” the statement read.

According to Cabinet’s proposed law, 50 percent of parliament seats will be elected based on a closed party lists system while the rest will be contested by individual candidates. Electoral constituencies will be re-planned and the minimum age for candidates will be reduced to 25 instead of 30 to allow a greater chance for youth participation.

The Alliance’s draft, on the other hand, adopts only a closed proportional lists system for parties and independent candidates.

A delegation representing parties in the Alliance met this week with members of the SCAF who said that they will not rush the issuance of the law and that they are not leaning towards a specific electoral system as long as it has public support and is constitutional.

“The SCAF expressed concerns over the constitutionality of the draft law they presented so we are presenting a memorandum to prove that it was constitutional,” said Sayed Al-Badawy, chairman of Al-Wafd Party.

“The SCAF said that they are committed to hold free and fair elections that reflect the will of the Egyptian people to hand power over to civilians as soon as possible,” he added.

Members of the Alliance comprise parties from the left and far right, bringing together proclaimed liberals and Islamists. It includes Al-Wafd, Nasserist, Al-Ghad, Al-Karama, Al-Tagammu, Labor, Freedom and Justice, Al-Geel, Al-Ahrar and the Egyptian Arab Socialist parties, as well as, Al-Fadila and Al-Tawheed Al-Araby Salafi parties.
Many of these parties are yet to be recognized officially.

They all said that they will participate in planned protests on Friday to protect the revolution and continue achieving its goals.


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