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Egypt Debates Constitutional Reforms

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TEHRAN, Feb 28 (ICANA) – The 10-day deadline set by Egypt's Military Council for an eight-member panel of experts to propose amendments to the constitution has come to an end.
Monday, February 28, 2011 9:57:26 AM
Egypt Debates Constitutional Reforms
Eight articles, dealing with presidential candidacy and the electoral process and were put forward by the committee. The amendments met some long-standing demands of the Egyptian opposition and also the pro-democracy uprising such as limiting Presidential term and the use of emergency laws and allowing people to vote with their national ID rather than having to obtain a voting card. The amendments also stated that a state of emergency should not be declared in the country until it is approved by the parliament. Another major victory for the opposition was the easing of the limitations on presidential candidacy, giving a chance to a wider range of individuals to run for the race. The 25 January Youth Coalition welcomed the changes but said some of the main demands put forward by the revolution still have not been addressed. Meanwhile, The Muslim Brotherhood has said it is reviewing the proposed amendments and will put out a statement in the following days on the issue. However, one of the main constitutional problems for the Muslim Brotherhood remains to be the inability to form a political party in Egypt on religious basis. Overall, the proposed amendments generated mixed reactions. Most have welcomed the proposals while raising demands for further changes that the opposition feels will be necessary to permit wider political participation amid fairness. While political players in Egypt view some changes as positive, many others say some important changes that were the demands of the revolution have not been made yet. The ruling military council is planning to hold referendum before the end of March on these proposed constitutional amendments.
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