MPs demand constitutional amendment to prevent presidential elections rigging

The People’s Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on Monday sharply criticized the powers granted by the constitutional declaration to the Judiciary Committee charged with supervising the presidential elections. The MPs described Judiciary Committee head Farouk Sultan, who also heads the Supreme Constitutional Court, as a “forger.”

MPs demanded the amendment of Article 28 of the constitutional declaration which gives immunity to and prevents the challenging of all decisions issued by the Judicial Committee.

Legal experts have also attacked Article 28 of the constitutional declaration. In a phone call to the Nile TV News Channel on Sunday evening, Mokhtar Nouh, a former candidate for Lawyers’ Syndicate chairman, said this article is designed for rigging the presidential elections.

MPs expressed their criticism of the article during Monday’s session as MPs Mohamed al-Omda, Amr Hamzawy and Hatem Azzam proposed three draft laws to modify the presidential elections law.

Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee members said discussion of these proposals was futile because of Article 28 of the Constitutional Declaration. They said that a third of MPs must recommend its amendment to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces before presidential hopefuls file their candidacy papers for the upcoming elections. Some MPs warned of a “second revolution” if the article remains as is.

“The elections will be invalid under this article, which prevents monitoring of the presidential elections committee,” MP Abul Ezz al-Hariry said.

“How can we be prevented from appealing the decisions of this committee? We do not want the first elected president in Egypt to be invalid and distrusted, therefore I suggest submitting a request to the SCAF to deal with this article,” Hariry added.

MP Mamdouh Ismail described the article as “a conspiracy against the Egyptian people and Parliament, meant to cause a state of confusion.” He said the conspiracy was “committed by all who participated in the drafting of the Constitutional Declaration.”

“The Head of the Constitutional Court, who heads the Presidential Election Committee, rigged the Lawyers’ Syndicate elections when he headed the South Cairo Court, and two hours later he became head of the Constitutional Court under the previous regime,” Ismail said, referring to elections that took place in 2009.

MP Saad Aboud said, “The head of the Constitutional Court is a forger,” adding that he witnessed the incident of fraud described by Ismail.

“Does it make sense for the head of the Constitutional Court to also be the head of the committee supervising the presidential elections? And if I wanted to rebuff the committee before the Constitutional Court, how can its head be both the judge and jury?” Aboud asked.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm.

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