By Mahitab Assran
The vice chairman of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has suggested amending several articles in the constitution concerning the limits of presidential, parliamentary, and judicial power.
The proposed amendments came in a personal statement on Essam El-Erian’s, where the FJP vice-president said that this suggestion should be taken up by the president according to Articles 217 and 218, and added that any future changes should be put forward by the president or one fifth of the members of parliament.
Article 142 states that the president exercises his powers through his assistants, his prime minister and other ministers within the limits outlined in Articles 139, 145, 146, 148, 148 and 149, as long as it does not risk national security or foreign policy. El-Erian believes this article should be altered in order to better clarify the president’s limits of power.
Article 177 meanwhile states that the president or parliament, when intending to carry out presidential, legislative or municipal elections, must first present the legal framework to the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) in order to guarantee the people’s political rights. However, El-Erian has suggested an exemption for elected bodies from referring back to the SCC, which he believes would sidestep problems “enforcing the will of the people”. El-Erian’s statement further suggests that there are other articles in need of altering in order to clarify the language and avoid potential conflicts.