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Egypt: Government Rejects Draft Law on the Impeachment of the President

(Mar. 27, 2012) On March 21, 2012, the Assistant Minister of Justice in the current cabinet rejected the draft law submitted by Members of Parliament on the impeachment of the President. The draft law would grant to the legislative branch the right to interrogate the President, remove him from office, and impose other punishments against him if necessary. (The People's Assembly Submits a Draft Law on the Impeachment of the President and the Cabinet Rejects It [in Arabic], Al Youm 7 (Mar. 21, 2012).)

The Assistant Minister of Justice argued that the General Prosecutor's Office is the only legal entity that should have the jurisdiction to file a criminal complaint against the President. He also accused the Parliament of impeding the General Prosecutor's Office from performing its duties as cited in the Law of Criminal Procedure. (Id.; Law 150-1950 of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Law 95-2003.)

Members of Parliament refuted the statement of the Assistant Minister of Justice. They announced that the law would act as a safeguard of the future democratic process and would prevent the President from exploiting his powers as the head of the executive branch. Further, the bill would give the Parliament the power to impeach the president if he violates the republican system or commits treason. However, the rejection by the administration effectively stops the progress of this bill. (The People's Assembly Submits a Draft Law on the Impeachment of the President and the Cabinet Rejects It, supra.)