Interview with presidential adviser Ali Saleh

Ali Awad Saleh, constitutional adviser to the president, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Interim President Adly Mansour is issuing a decree to amend the roadmap within 30 days of the adoption of the Constitution.
Saleh also said there are indications that the presidential elections may be held first.
The new constitution delegates authority to the president to decide which election should take place first. What will Interim President Adly Mansour decide?
According to the community dialogue that the president held with national forces and political parties, the general trend in the country is in favor of holding the presidential elections first. It is up to the president now.
What do you personally prefer?
I prefer the parliamentary elections to be held first so that we have a legislature able to pass laws. After all, the elections will have to be held in as little as six months according to the Constitution.
The dialogue also addressed the electoral system, which the members of the Constitutional Committee of 50 could not agree upon. Has this issue been resolved?
The subject is still under study. What has been settled already is that the upcoming parliamentary elections will not be held under a list-based system. The president is now considering two options: an individual system or a mixed system. I personally support the individual system as recommended by the Constitutional Committee of 10.
When will the president decide on the roadmap amendment and the electoral system?
Within 30 days of the adoption of the Constitution because Article 230 stipulates that both elections should be held after 30 days and before 90 days from the adoption of the Constitution.
If the presidential elections are held first, what law regulates them?
Law 174 of 2005 and its amendments issued by the military council, allowing the president to exercise limited legislative powers. 
There were objections to the article on civilians being tried in military courts based on claims that the article conflicts with articles on rights and freedoms. What do you make of that?
The Constitution meets the demands of this particular stage. I think the Constitutional Court can modify that article in the future.
Do you think the Constitution restores the status of the Constitutional Court that the Brotherhood had restrained in the 2012 Constitution?
By all means. The Brotherhood did not like the verdict that the Constitutional Court had issued to dissolve the Peoples Assembly because it found the elections law unconstitutional.
Some believe Adly Mansour should run for president in case Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decides not to. What do you think?
Many would like that. But Mansour said he would not run in the elections and that he would either go back to his previous post as head of the Constitutional Court or decide to retire.
Has the new constitution limited the powers of the president? What does Egypt need now? A statesman or a politician?
Egypt needs a president that is invested in it and its security, adheres to the Constitution and cooperates with the rest of the state authorities. I think the legacy of the 30 years under former President Hosni Mubarak and the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood convinced the Constitutional Committee to cut 50 percent of the president's powers in favor of other state authorities. Essentially, the Constitution is a translation of reality.
What do you think of the article immunizing the defense minister? Do you think the Constitution opens the door for struggle between the defense minister and the president?
The defense minister is not immunized. If he falters, he will be dealt with like anyone else. Also, he will not be appointed without the approval of the military council. There will be no power struggle.
I was a member of the 50-committee and I tell you, the defense minister did not interfere in our work at all. Nor did the president.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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