Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Egypt gets 12 billion from Gulf countries, severe criticism of the 'Constitutional Declaration'

Kuwait will provide a $4 billion aid package to Egypt, including $2 billion as a central bank deposit, a $1 billion grant and $1 billion in oil products, state news agency KUNA said on Wednesday. The announcement came after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged a combined $8 billion in financial aid to Egypt on Tuesday, showing their support for the Egyptian army's move to push the Muslim Brotherhood from power. Saudi Arabia gives 3 billion in loans and grants, and 2 billion in petroleum products, the VAE give 1 billion as a gift and two billion in loans.
The financial relieve comes after the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The aid from the three Gulf Arab oil producers is expected to help Egypt avoid a balance of payments crisis and overcome fuel shortages. Qatar lent Egypt more than $7 billion during Morsy's abruptly curtailed year in power, but other Gulf states remained aloof. The Saudis and their allies had a bad relationship with the Muslim Brothers.

El Beblawy
Beblawi (l) with interim-president Mansour.

Adly Mansour, interim president, issued a decree Tuesday tasking Hazem Beblawi, to head the new government. Mohammed ElBaradei has been appointed vice president for external relations.
Beblawi is an economist and politician who has served in previous governments, notably as deputy prime minister and finance minister briefly in 2011.
After the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak. Beblawi became a founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. He was appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs and also, finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle on 17 July 2011.

Beblawi's appointment came after interim-president Mansour had issued a Constitutional Declaration outlining a roadmap for the transitional period. It stipulates that the president holds legislative authorities along with the cabinet that shall have a mandatory consultative role. It further said the the president is to form within 15 days a committee to amend the frozen 2012 constitution. The committee is given a month-long period to wrap up the amendments. The committee is to consist of two members of the High Constitutional Court, two judges, two members of State Council, and four constitutional law professors from Egyptian universities. The committee shall refer the amendments to another committee formed of 50 members, who shall represent all layers of society. put the amended version of the constitution to a national referendum within 30 days from receiving the final draft. It will be effective upon public approval. After that elections for the parliament will be held, followed by  presidential elections. The whole process should be finished within six months. 

The Constitutional Declaration, which came as s surprise to the Tamarod campaigners and other opposition movements, draw much criticism from different circles.  
Representative's from the 6 April Movement and the Tamarod movement had a meeting with president Mansour on Tuesday during which they presented a list of proposed amendments. They said afterwards that Mansour promised to come with an addendum to his first declaration. Among the points that both movements criticized  were the fact that parliamentary elections would be held before presidential elections and criticism of article 1 of the Declaration which stated that the Arab Republic of Egypt is ''a democratic system based on citizenship, Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is its official language and the principles of Sharia law derived from established Sunni canons is its main source of legislation''.

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