The semi-government National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) praised the new constitutional amendment proposing to increase women’s quota in parliament, calling for applying it on other elected bodies.
This came in the NCHR’s report sent to the parliament which included the council’s comment on the draft constitutional amendments, related to increasing women representation in the parliament and the establishment of higher councils of judicial bodies and a senate.
The NCHR said the proposed amendments will give a special advantage for women, suggesting that this article can be the base for the election of the proposed senate and any local bodies in the future.
Although the amendments have not been sent to the NCHR officially so far, however the NCHR is confident that the parliament would ask for the council’s opinion, as stipulated in the Constitution, according to the council.
The council said in a Saturday statement that it considered the Constitution and human right laws, international conventions, while studying the amendments.
Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal has determined the date of the final voting on constitutional amendments in the Parliament on 16 April, after the sub-committee completed formulating the final draft of amendments during the current week.
A sub-committee were assigned by the head of parliamentary committee of constitutional and legislative affairs, Bahaa Abo Shoqa, last week to prepare a report on proposed amendments to submit it to the parliament’s internal bureau early next week on 14 April, two days before the voting.
Mahmoud Al-Sharif, deputy chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, said they are exercising their regular work until it will officially be notified by the parliament to prepare for the referendum.
The amendment of the constitution requires the approval of at least 400 parliamentary members in order to call for a referendum. A total of 485 lawmakers out of 596 “endorsed in principle the constitutional amendments after three consecutive discussion sessions which lasted more than 10 hours.”
According to the constitutional article 226, the parliament shall discuss the request to amend the Constitution within 30 days from the date of its receipt. The House of Representatives issues its decision to accept the request in whole or in part by a majority of its members, according to the article, which also states that If the request is rejected, the same amendments may not be requested again before the next legislative term.
If the amendment request is approved by the House of Representatives, it discusses the text of the articles to be amended within 60 days from the date of approval. If approved by a two-thirds majority of the House’s members, the amendment is put to a public referendum within 30 days from the date of approval.
The amendments, submitted by the parliamentary majority ‘Support Egypt’ coalition on 11 February, involves changes to 11 articles of Egypt’s 2014 Constitution: articles 102, 140, 160, 189, 190, 193, 200, 204, 234, 243, and 244. The coalition also proposed that eight new articles be added to the Constitution.