Posted 3 months ago on Feb. 1, 2013, 5:14 p.m. EST by GirlFriday
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Egypt Independent:Why do you oppose the Constitution if it allocates the same 50 percent quota to farmers and workers, which represents the biggest victory for farmers since the 1952 revolution?
Mohamed Abdel Qader:This article is tricky. It was added at the last minute, while members of the Constituent Assembly were voting on the final constitutional draft. Furthermore, it was added to the transitional articles chapter, which means that the 50 percent quota only applies to the coming Parliament, and will then be abrogated.
EI:How is this article tricky?
Abdel Qader:It is a trick in the sense that the majority of Constituent Assembly members did not approve it, and that it was [drafted] only at the last minute to serve certain political calculations. They feared that if that article was taken out, the Constitution would lose the support of labor and farmers when put to a nationwide referendum.
They incorporated it as a transitional article to mobilize farmers and workers’ support, comfortable in the knowledge that it would automatically expire. The new Constitution limits Shura Council membership to holders of university degrees, which means that illiterate people and holders of intermediate and lower degrees, including farmers, are excluded.