Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 16 of Egypt's protests, Constitutional Reform and the Emergency Law

Today, Wednesday, February 9, the 16th day of Egypt's protests, there were still thousands of Anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square as well as in the streets of Alexandria.  There is another mass protest scheduled for Friday, the first day of the weekend here in Egypt.

Here are some photos from the television news of anti-Mubarak protesters today in Tahrir Square.

There were also several thousand anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrating in front of the Parliament building today as well as yesterday.  They are now holding a sit-in in front of the Parliament as well as in Tahrir Square.   The military is present at the Parliament, but has not gotten involved with the demonstrations.    
 Below is a map that shows where the Parliament is relative to Tahrir Square (which means Liberation Square).
In addition to the anti-Mubarak demonstrations, TV journalists report there have also been several groups of labor forces demonstrating after going on strike for higher wages.  I believe the journalist said the photo below was of labor forces in front of Cairo's telecommunications building.
Meanwhile, the Mubarak administration has set up a Commission to explore changes in Egypt's Constitution.  TV journalists reported the following constitutional articles might be discussed:  

The People’s Assembly shall nominate the President of the Republic . The nomination shall be referred to the people for a plebiscite. The nomination for the President of the Republic shall be made in the People’ Assembly upon the proposal of at least one third of its members. The candidate who obtains two thirds of the votes of the members of the People’s Assembly shall be referred to the people for a plebiscite . If he does not obtain the said majority the nomination process shall be repeated two days after the first vote. The candidate obtaining an absolute majority of the votes of the Assembly members shall be referred to the citizens for a plebiscite. The candidate shall be considered President of the Republic when he obtains an absolute majority of votes cast in the plebiscite. If the candidate does not obtain this majority, the Assembly shall propose the nomination of another candidate and the same procedure shall follow concerning his candidature and election.

The term of the presidency shall be six Gregorian years starting from the date of the announcement of result of the plebiscite. The President of the Republic may be re-elected for other successive terms.
The Law shall determine the conditions which members of the Assembly must fulfil as well as the rules of election and referendum, while the ballot shall be conducted under the supervision of the members of a judiciary organ.

The People’s Assembly shall be competent to decide upon the validity of the membership of its members. The Court of Cassation shall be competent to investigate the validity of contestations on membership presented to the Assembly after referring them to the Court by the Speaker of the Assembly. The contestation shall be referred to the Court of Cassation within fifteen days as from the date on which the Assembly has been informed thereof while the investigation shall be completed within ninety days from the date on which the contestation is referred to the Court of Cassation. The result of the investigation and the decision reached by the Court shall be submitted to the Assembly to decide upon the validity of the contestation within sixty days from the date of submission of the result of the investigation to the Assembly. Memberships shall not be deemed invalid expect by a decision taken by a majority of two-thirds of the Assembly members.

The Socialist Public Prosecutor shall be responsible for taking the measures which secure the people’s rights, the safety of the society and its political regime, the preservation of the socialist achievements and commitment to socialist behaviour. The law shall prescribe his other competences. He shall be subject to the control of the People’s Assembly in accordance with what is prescribed by law.

If you would like to read Egypt's Constitution, here is a link to it:

Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden urged Egypt to lift the Emergency Law that has been in effect for decades.  I tried to find the complete text of the Emergency Law.   I found one article that listed parts of the Law:

Article 1: The government may declare a state of emergency across Egypt or in a specified region, whenever there is a danger to security or public order, including war, disturbances, disaster, or epidemic.
Article 2: State of emergency be announced and decided by the President of Egypt, and include the reason, region covered, and date enacted.
Article 3: When declared, the president can include the following measures:
  1. Restrictions on freedom of people to gather
  2. Restrict movement of people
  3. Arrest suspects or people who pose a danger
  4. Arrest and search people and places without restrictions
  5. Require any person to perform any act
  6. Control communications, newspapers, publications, and all means of expression prior to publications, and seize and shut down places of printing
  7. Seize any property and impose security on companies and institutions, and postpone debts and obligations for what is seized or imposed by the government
  8. Decommission weapons and ammunitions
  9. Evacuate regions or cut-off transportation between areas

(Note:  This text is taken from an article found at the following link:

TV reports said three additional people died and hundreds more were injured in the past two days during protests in South-West Egypt, in an oasis called New Valley.  Here is a photo of one of the injured people.

If you'd like to read more about the New Valley protests, here's a link to a Reuter's article about those protests.

In other news, the stores in our neighborhood are all open again now.  The banks are all open with no lines.  The food store I went in was fully stocked.  Restaurants are open again.  Traffic is busy again as it was.  

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