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Constitution of Egypt – 7: The Shoura Assembly, The Press Authority

Chapter seven

Part One: The Shoura Assembly*

Art.194: The Shoura Assembly is concerned with the study and proposal of what it deems necessary to preserve the principles of the July 23,1952 Revolution and the May 15, 1971 Revolution, to consolidate national unity and social peace, to protect the alliance of the working forces of the people and the socialist gains as well as the basic constituents of society, its supreme values, its rights and liberties and its public duties, and to deepen the democratic socialist system and widen its scope.

Art.195: The Shoura Assembly shall be consulted in the following: Proposals for the amendment of one or more articles of the Constitution. Draft laws complementary to the Constitution. Draft of the general plan for social and economic development. Peace treaties, alliances and all treaties affecting the territorial integrity of the State or those concerning sovereignty rights. Draft laws referred to the Assembly by the President of the Republic. Whatever matters referred to the Assembly by the President of the Republic relative to the general policy of the State or its policy regarding Arab or foreign affairs. The Assembly shall submit to the President of the Republic and the People’s Assembly its opinion on such matters.

Art.196: The Shoura Assembly shall be composed of a number of members defined by the law, not less than 132 members. Two thirds of the members shall be elected by direct secret public balloting, half of whom at least must be workers and farmers. The President of the Republic shall appoint the other third.

Art.197: The law shall determine the electoral constituencies of the Shoura Assembly the number of members in every constituency, and the necessary conditions that should be fulfilled by the elected or appointed members of the Shoura Assembly.

Art.198: The term of the membership of the Shoura Assembly is six years. The election and the appointment of 50% of the total number of the members should be renewed every three years as defined by law. It is always possible to re-elect or re-appoint those whose term of membership has expired.

Art.199: The Shoura Assembly shall elect a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers at its first ordinary annual session for a period of the three years. If one of these offices becomes vacant, the Assembly shall elect a successor for the rest of the term.

Art.200: No member can hold office in both the People’s Assembly and the Shoura Assembly at one and the same time.

Art.201: The Prime Minister and his Deputies, the Ministers and government officials shall not be held responsible to the Shoura Assembly.

Art.202: The President of the Republic has the right to make a statement upon the general policy of the State or upon any other matter before a joint meeting of the People’s Assembly and the Shoura Assembly, headed by the Speaker of the People’s Assembly. The President of the Republic has the right to make whatever statements he wishes before the Shoura Assembly.

Art.203: The Prime Minister and the Ministers and other government officials may make statements before the Shoura Assembly or before one of its committees upon a subject that comes within their competence. The Prime Minister and his Deputies and Ministers and other government officials shall be heard by the Shoura Assembly and its committees upon their request, and they may seek the assistance of any government officials, as they see fit. However, any minister or government official shall not have a counted vote unless he is a member.

Art.204: The President of the Republic may not dissolve the Shoura Assembly except in case of the necessity , while such a decision should comprise an invitation to electors to hold new elections for the Shoura Assembly within a period of the sixty days from the date of its dissolution . The Assembly shall hold its first meeting within ten days from the date of its election.

Art.205: The Provisions included in the following articles of the Constitution shall apply to the Shoura Assembly: (89,90,100,101,102,104,105,106,107,129,130,134), insofar as they are not incompatible with the provisions cited in this chapter. The Shoura Assembly and its Speaker shall exercise the competences specified in the aforementioned articles.


Part Two: The Press Authority

Art.206: The press is a popular, independent authority exercising its vocation in the manner stipulated in the Constitution and the law.

Art.207: The Press shall exercise its vocation freely and independently in the service of society through all the means of expression .It shall thus interpret the trend of public opinion, while contributing to its information and orientation within the framework of the basic components of society, the safeguard of liberties, rights and public duties and the respect of the sanctity of the private lives of the citizens, as stipulated in the Constitution and defined by law. Art.208: The freedom of the press is guaranteed and press censorship is forbidden. It is also forbidden to threaten, confiscate or cancel a newspaper through administrative measures, as stipulated in the Constitution and defined by the law.

Art.209: The freedom of legal persons whether public or private, or political parties to publish or own newspapers is safeguarded in accordance with the law. The financing and ownership of newspapers and the funds belonging to them, come under the supervision of the people, as stipulated in the Constitution and defined by law.

Art.210: Journalists have the right to obtain news and information according to the regulations set by law. Their activities are not subject to any authority other than the law.

Art.211: A Supreme Press Council shall deal with matters concerning the press. The law shall define its formation, competences and its relationship with the state authorities. The Supreme Press Council shall exercise its competences with a view to consolidating the freedom of the press and its independence, to uphold the basic foundations of society, and to guarantee the soundness of national unity and social peace as stipulated in the Constitution and defined by law.

(*) Amended according to the result of the plebiscite on the constitutional amendment which was conducted on May, 22nd 1980

Next: Chapter 8- Amendments of the Constitution 2005

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