The Egyptians are called to the polls tomorrow to decide by referendum whether to accept the amendments to the Constitution, which mainly limit the number of presidential mandates in the first ballot the country will have since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak on 11February. The amendments have been made by the Constitutional Reform Committee appointed by the Supreme Council of the Army, in power since the resignation of Mubarak.
The amendments are seek to introduce into the Magna Carta stipulate that a presidential candidate must have the backing of at least 30 deputies and 30,000 citizens in fifteen governorates, with at least a thousand of each, and at least one member in the Shura Council (Upper House) will be a requisite for a party to present a presidential candidate.
It also stipulates that the president may only be in power for two consecutive terms – former president spent 30 years in office – which should appoint a Vice – Mubarak did not have a ‘number two ‘ until protests began – and, although a state of emergency can be adopted, it shall be submitted to a national referendum decision.
These changes do not have the support of all political groups, particularly of those who were behind the protests centered in Tahrir Square in Cairo, which culminated with the resignation of Mubarak. Thus, both the opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize Mohamed ElBaradei and the secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Musa, both presidential candidates have shown their rejection on the amendments. “Keeping the Constitution of Mubarak, even temporarily, is an insult to the revolution, “ElBaradei stressed.