Amr Moussa: The 2014 Constitution brought Egypt a mixed system

Sent On: 
Wed, 2014-09-10
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AWR, Cairo, September 10, 2014


In our project on the Egyptian Constitution of 2014, researcher Diana Serôdio interviewed H.E. Amr Moussa [‘Amrū Mūsa], who chaired the Constituent Assembly in 2013. Amr Moussa is a major Egyptian statesman, who served as Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs for ten years (1991-2001) and another ten years as the Secretary General of the Arab League (2001-2011). In 2012, he was a major candidate in the Egyptian presidential elections.


In previous interviews with members of the Assembly, we have touched on various controversial religious subjects. The interview with Amr Moussa was focused on the separation of powers in the Constitution.

Until the revolution of January 25, 2011, Egypt had a presidential system with extensive powers for the president and limited powers for Parliament.



Source: al-Arabiyya


The revolution made it clear that the presidential system in Egypt had failed. It is thus not strange that the Constitution of 2014 provides Egypt with a hybrid of the Westminster parliamentary and presidential systems. The president now has to share power with the prime minister and Parliament.


The president cannot nominate a prime minister, who then forms the government without the Parliament’s approval. Parliament can refuse the president’s selection for the position of prime minister and instead nominate its own candidate. Parliament, however, must be careful in exercising its powers, because a down voted proposal by Parliament would lead to its dissolution.


Amr Moussa: “The message is we authorize the parliament to act as equal to the president in selecting the prime minister and form the government, but you have to be very cautious about it, because it might bring you down, so use those powers, but use them wisely.”


Working under a tight deadline to complete the Constitution was not an easy job. Amr Moussa has been widely praised for managing the differences between members and no party walked out of the Committee unlike the 2012 Constitutional Drafting Committee. In order to achieve this, he did not allow reserve members to participate in the negotiations after the first month. He also “ordered, no media, no TV. Once the TV is there, you’re trying to show how wonderful you are, so there was no media, no reserve members. One room contained the 50 members and certain issues were not discussed from the start, they were discussed later on, like the religious, the military, workers and farmers and the judicial authority, which was so complicated.”


For the full text of the interview with Amr Moussa, please click here.



Cornelis Hulsman

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report