Egypt considers term limits, presidential nomination reform

[JURIST] The Egyptian military's judicial committee on Saturday proposed a constitutional amendment that would impose an eight-year term limit on the presidency in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the 30-year reign of former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile]. The proposed constitutional amendments also make it easier for a candidate to obtain a nomination. The existing Egyptian Constitution [text] required the support of 250 elected officials, whereas the proposed changes will call for the signatures of just 30 parliamentarians [Al Jazeera report]. The changes will make it more difficult for a president to maintain the state of emergency laws [text, in Arabic] that Mubarak kept in place for nearly 30 years. The committee was appointed by Egypt's military, which is running the country until an election is held in six months. The military council stated that it will issue a snap referendum [Reuters report] next month on the proposed constitutional amendments and plans to have the vote complete by the end of March.

Last week Egypt's chief prosecutor requested that Foreign Ministry officials take steps to freeze any foreign assets belonging to Mubarak [JURIST report] and his family. Prosecutor Abdel Magid made the request even though Mubarak submitted a declaration of wealth indicating that he possessed no foreign assets. Mubarak stepped down after nearly three weeks of demonstrations [Al Jazeera report] protesting the Egyptian government and calling for his resignation. His resignation left state affairs in the hands of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which pledged to lift the country's emergency laws [JURIST report] that were in place for nearly 30 years once circumstances in the country improved. The Council also vowed to have a peaceful transition to power and promised not to prosecute "honourable people who refused corruption and demanded for reform."

 

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