Gamal Mubarak reviews paper on Rights of Citizenship and Democracy
Egypt, Politics, 9/26/2003
In the second session of the Annual NDP Congress starting today, Gamal Mubarak, Secretary of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Policy Committee, reviewed a paper on the "Rights of Citizenship and Democracy" stressing that this paper is based on the fundamental principles of the Party endorsed by the 8th General NPD Congress.
This paper also reflects adherence by the Party to the principle of citizenship as a basis for equality in rights and duties and that guarantees respect for the citizens' fundamental rights.
Gamal Mubarak said that the visions presented in this paper analyze the status quo and the achievements accomplished through out the last years where the political and institutional reforms were given equal priority as the socioeconomic one. His vision tackles also some passive impacts that could not be resolved yet.
The paper defines 4 targets for political and institutional reform as follows:
Reviving the concept of citizenship and improving citizen-state relations.
Providing effectual justice for the citizens.
Upgrading the cultural infrastructure.
Activating the role of civil society institutions in the reform process.
On reform features required to reviving the concept of the Egyptian citizenship, Gamal Mubarak talked about the "Citizenship Document." He deems it a new decade for the citizens and the state that safeguards rights and duties as guaranteed by the Constitution. Gamal Mubarak stressed that the document also calls for commitment by the citizens to discipline, respect of law, participation in elections besides popular participation in the development of society.
In respect of the citizen-state relationship, Gamal Mubarak stressed the need to end up judicial disputes between the state and the citizens, upgrading system of registering in electoral lists and that all citizens should have the national code number by 2005.
He called for removing all forms of discrimination against women and the speedy issuance of the law on the family court. Women should assume judicial posts and that the Egyptian father and mother should enjoy equal right as regards granting Egyptian citizenship to their children, he added. Gamal Mubarak stressed the importance of improving services provided to the citizens.
He also pointed out to the relation between the police and the citizen. The NDP views that such link has to be based on a firm participation in maintaining public security being a national duty and commitment in a way that boosts the citizen's confidence in his ability to practice due citizenship rights.
He stressed that the NDP seeks more efforts to be exerted to deepen the culture of human rights as well as more procedures to modernize mechanisms that would enhance the police stations' efficiency.
The NDP Policy Secretary dealt with importance of modernizing the local administration system. He stated that the NDP is keen to modernize that kind of administration and the local councils' authorities so as to contribute effectively in the planning, managing and funding of the local development process. It has to stand as a real school for practicing democracy.
On providing effectual justice for the citizens, Gamal Mubarak, Secretary of NDP Policy Committee elaborated that the effectual justice Ð in NDP's view Ð as stated in the Constitution, is the decisive, prompt one that guarantees respect of the citizens' rights. It applies law impartially and carries out its sentences at once. It is the modern justice from the point of view of science, efficiency, culture and experience.
That effectual justice should rest on modern legislation that cope with modern renaissance. It has to help the citizen avoid financial and administrative burdens in practicing his right in referring to courts. On such basis, the NDP attempts to drive forward the legislative modernization.
On legislative modernization, the NDP floats some notions for discussion in a fresh philosophy that drives forward the existing reality into new horizons where legislation would stand as a framework for powers, whether political, economic or social. For instance, we have the modernization of procedures rules as contained in the Commercial and Civil Procedures Law.
Again, there must be reformulation of the Penal and Criminal Procedures Law in a way that consolidates the guarantees of protecting human rights. That should match with Egypt's stance towards those issues inside and outside. The bill no. 1/2000 that set up a fund to carry out the wife's rights in getting due financial costs must be amended. The unified cooperation bill should be released to set uniform rules for cooperative societies, now dispersed in five different laws.
On modernizing and supporting justice management, the NDP's orientation in this case is focused on activating the enforcement of judicial verdicts by establishing effective mechanisms to implement such verdicts. The NDP views the respect of judicial sentences and enforcing them effectively is a must for justice stability and social security.
On cultural structure modernization, the NDP views that the efforts exerted for reform, development and achieving the cherished renaissance depends on supporting cultural structure that adopts a system of advancement values so as to be a driving force to put the reform plans into action.
Secretary of Policies has also highlighted the importance of the effective role that both civil community institutions and political parties play in the march of development.
In this connection, the NDP calls for reconsidering laws of political parties and practice of basic political rights in order to remove all hurdles which face the political parties' action, being an important step forward that enhances the partisan life in Egypt.
As for civil community action, the NDP calls for reconsideration and updating of the laws governing professional syndicates as well as addressing problems of democratic practices. Thus, the institutional structure of syndicates would be enhanced.
The NDP also seeks issuance of a new law to organize and liberalize the cooperative movement, boost independence and promote democratic practices in Egypt.
In conclusion, the Policy Secretary, Gamal Mubarak said the NDP floats its vision on citizenship rights and democracy for discussion. It will discuss as well a set of specific proposals on means to make active such a vision and render it a tangible reality in citizens' lives. This is built on interaction and discussion of the ideas and proposals raised by such a vision.
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