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Jun 09, 2004
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Egyptian Professor, Said Naggar, on The Flaws of the Egyptian Constitution

#111 | 02:02
Source: Dream TV (Egypt)

Dr. Said Al-Naggar, a professor at Cairo University and a pro-democracy activist, appeared on the privately owned Egyptian television channel, Dream 2, and talked about the need to change the Egyptian constitution, the presidential regime, and elections. Following are excerpts from his comments, broadcast on June 9, 2004:

I cannot avoid saying that the current (Egyptian) constitution, no longer meets contemporary needs and lacks elements. The current constitution lacks elements obligatory in any democratic regime. If the constitution remains in its current format, Egypt will not be a democracy. This is my honest position.

Naturally, I welcome the cancellation of the emergency law, the political party law, and the special courts. I welcome these steps, but they are marginal to the reform issue in Egypt. The reform issue in Egypt pertains to the changing of the constitution.

?President Husni Mubarak, with all due respect for his contribution to Egypt, has remained on the presidential throne for more than 22 years. If he finishes this current term he will have completed 24 years on the presidential throne. This clearly contradicts the fundamental laws of democratic and republican regimes?

The political regime that is appropriate for us is parliamentary, not presidential. A presidential regime soon becomes autocratic and all governmental authorities are concentrated in one man's hands. How can we preserve this regime, which is based on a presidential referendum?

This is a regime that has no equivalent in any country in the world. There is no country in the world that says, I propose a person and all you need to say is 'yes' or 'no'. That is the secret behind results of 99%. When you propose only one candidate, it is obvious that I will not say 'no', because what is the alternative?

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