By Ria Novosti
A nationwide referendum on amendments to Egypt’s constitution could be held in April, national media said on Tuesday citing sources in the ruling Higher Military Council.
A special committee is expected to draft the constitutional amendments by February 25, paving the way for democratic reforms in the Arab country. The changes are to be approved at the referendum and finalized within a year, the Masrawy news portal reported.
The amendments refer to four articles of the Egyptian constitution, in particular on presidential elections and the number of terms in office.
Under the pressure of the opposition, former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak promised to carry out important political reforms in the country, which would limit the number of presidential terms and change the rules for nominating candidates.
The current constitution does not include a ceiling for the number of terms a president can serve in office. It also makes it impossible for an independent candidate or candidate from minor parties to be nominated for presidency as the present constitution dictates that candidates must receive a majority of signatures from representatives in parliament.
Egypt’s new military leadership, which assumed power after Mubarak’s resignation, has pledged to abide by all the government’s commitments, including constitutional amendments and international agreements.
On Sunday, Egypt’s Higher Military Council dissolved both houses of the country’s parliament and suspended the constitution. It said it would run the country for six months, or until new elections are held.