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August 22 2013

Constitution committee's draft unfavorable to Islamists | Mada Masr 21st of August

Constitution committee’s draft unfavorable to Islamists |
Mada Masr
21st of August

A sign of significant change in terms of parliamentary representation can be seen in the committee’s decision to return to the single candidate system during elections, reversing the rules whereby two thirds of parliament’s seats were granted to party lists and a third to individual candidates. Egypt saw the first parliamentary elections using this system in November 2011, which resulted in a 70 percent victory for Islamists, who, in turn, were able to select the 100 lawmakers who drafted the 2012 Constitution.  

A return to the single candidate system represents the return to the electoral norms during the rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. It has been criticized for being associated with large families in Upper and Lower Egypt being able to exert control and influence over the electoral process. Islamists, instead, relied on electoral lists to gather enough votes in a parliament, where its party representation was quite strong. 

The article in the suspended constitution stipulating the political exclusion of members of the formerly ruling National Democratic Party for a period of 10 years, has been removed by the committee. This arguably reflects an interest in the return of former regime figures either through the single candidate system or through their inclusion in political parties, particularly the liberals among them.

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