The House of Representatives on Sunday issued a statement clarifying the procedures to be followed for the amendment of the constitution.
According to the statement, 155 MPs submitted to request the amendment of certain articles in accordance with Article 226 of the constitution. The statement said that the parliament followed Article 226 of the Constitution and a set of parliamentary procedures stipulated in the bylaws of the House of Representatives.
The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee will, after the end of community dialogues, prepare the drafting of the amended constitutional articles in its final form and present it for the final vote in a plenary session, which requires the approval of a two-thirds majority.
The statement stressed that the House of Representatives follows through constitutional and parliamentary procedures on constitutional amendments, and expects the amendments to be ready for referendum in mid-April.
On February 3, 155 MPs, equal to more than one-fifth of the members of the parliament, submitted a request to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdelaal to amend some articles of the Constitution.
Article 226 of the Constitution states that it is permissible to amend some provisions of the Constitution either at the request of the President of the Republic or one-fifth of the parliament’s members.
Abdelaal notified members of the Parliament in the plenary session of the request and referred it to the General Committee, which comprises all heads of Parliament sub-committees and representatives of all the parliamentary bodies, political parties, and independents, to study it further.
At its last meeting, the committee approved in principle amending some articles of the Constitution.
On February 5, Abdelaal made a report for the General Committee regarding the principle of amending the Constitution available for all MPs, one week before discussing it in a plenary session, in accordance with the Parliament’s bylaws.
Then on February 13, Parliament held its plenary session to consider the report of the General Committee.
Discussions were held for three consecutive plenary sessions.
On February 14, 485 members approved amending constitutional articles and the request was referred to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee.
Over the course of thirty days, the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee received a number of proposals on the constitutional amendments submitted by MPs, various institutions and citizens.
On March 20, the Parliament started sessions of community dialogue on the amendments, scheduled to continue over two weeks.
In the first session, the parliament listened to representatives of Al-Azhar and the Church, along with jurists, journalists, and others.
In the second session of community dialogue, the parliament listened to senior judges, and heads of former and current courts.
The third session was attended by representatives of the National Council for Women, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, the National Council on Disability, the National Council for Population, and representatives of all trade unions.
Three sessions will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, March 27-28 to listen to politicians, businessmen, representatives of financial and economic institutions, as well as a number of public figures and representatives from civil society organizations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm