Last Updated: Thu Mar 03, 2011 14:05 pm (KSA) 11:05 am (GMT)

Egypt constitution expert warns of election reverse

Tarek el-Bishri warned of the risks of holding presidential elections first
Tarek el-Bishri warned of the risks of holding presidential elections first

Judge Tarek al-Bishri, head of the committee in charge of amending the Egyptian constitution, expressed his concern about holding a presidential vote before parliamentary elections and warned of a possible new Mubarak if this scenario happens.

Holding elections for Egypt’s lower and upper houses of parliament before presidential elections would guarantee that the new president will not have unlimited powers, Bishri told the Egyptian T.V. Wednesday.

 The Egyptian judiciary is independent, but it was weakened by the interference of the executive power  
Judge Tarek al-Bishri

He called upon political parties who plan on running in the parliamentary elections to form coalitions and stressed the importance of some powers giving up seats for others that have a better chance to win.

“They have to cooperate and not be involved in conflicts,” he said. “They should all agree on striving to create a real democracy and fighting corruption so that the spirit of the revolution remains.”

Regarding reservations on the recent constitutional amendments, Bishri said that the article that prohibits holders of dual nationalities to run for presidency is based on rulings from the Higher Institutional Court and other relevant courts.

“The same article, number 75, stipulates that the presidential candidate should not be married to a foreigner and this is also the case with diplomats and army officers.”

When asked about judges who would be selected to supervise elections, Bishri said those appointed by the ousted regime would not be sidelined.

“The Egyptian judiciary is independent, but it was weakened by the interference of the executive power and the Judicial Power Law that has many drawbacks and needs to be amended.”

Bishri added that the amendments were made to a few articles, which tackle presidential elections and candidates, and that the rest of the constitution will be amended after the presidential elections.

(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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