Constitutional Law Egyptian Style

By , February 4, 2011 9:59 am

Interesting op-ed in The New York Times by Tarek Masoud, an assistant professor of public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Bottom line, he writes that Mubarak must stay in power for at least a little longer, so the Egyptian government can work its way towards the necessary reforms in accordance with Egypt’s constitution. As Masoud explains, the orderly transition that everyone, including the Obama administration is asking for

. . . requires that Mr. Mubarak stay on, but only for a short time, to initiate the election of an entirely new Parliament that could then amend all the power out of the presidency or even abolish it . . .

. . . the Egyptian Constitution . . . gives the power to dissolve Parliament and call new elections only to an elected president. Mr. Mubarak’s successor, as an acting president, would be specifically prohibited from getting the parliamentary elections under way. A new Parliament is crucial to democratic reform, because only Parliament has the power to defang the Egyptian presidency, stripping it of its dictatorial powers through constitutional amendment.

Interesting dilemma. Hope the demonstrators have read and understand their Constitution.

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