The Center for Trade Unions‘ and Workers’ Services and the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress Demand that Constitutional Ruling, No. 220 for Year 12 J, for Dismantling ETUF’s Elections and Subsequently Elected Administrative and other Union Boards/Entities
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The Center for Trade Unions’ and Workers’ Services (CTUWS) together with the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress (EDLC) addressed the Minister of Manpower and Immigration in a statement demanding that the Constitutional Court ruling no. 220 for the year 19 (as per Constitutional Court’s Judiciary Calendar, CCJC) - which was out on April 1 in 2012 - pertaining that article 11 of the 146th (manpower) ministerial decree in 1996 is un-constitutional.
CTUWS and EDLC’s memorandum addressing the Minster of Manpower and Immigration highlighted the fact that the referred to Constitutional Court ruling means that article 11 referred to above is unconstitutional in both principle and application. Therefore, the elected union boards should have been nullified only one day following the public release of the Constitutional Court ruling. Article 11 – which is now unconstitutional – indicated that all union executive and administrative boards at the Egyptian Federation for Trade Unions (ETUF) are elected without any direct judicial monitoring at the polling stations or during votes count at electoral polls in workplaces. This article organized the electoral process of the latest three electoral terms, throughout all the unions affiliated to ETUF. The elected unionists as per the most recent elections (the term for 2006-2011) are in office up till now together with ETUF’s union bodies and boards. The referred to Constitutional Court ruling shall still implicate that such bodies and boards be dismantled.
Nevertheless, this Constitutional Court ruling is not put to effect until this moment ignoring the status of Constitutional Court ruling as per Egypt’s constitution which gives the Court the absolute final ruling in legislative and constitutional questions which are put forward to the court by any of the three state authorities (legislative, executive or judicial) and any other state entity. Also, there shall be no revisiting of the Constitutional Court provisions as per articles 48 and 49 of the High Constitutional Court Law. ETUF’s executive board rather questioned the rulings and judicial status/hierarchy of Constitutional Court rulings.
The referred to memorandum refuted ETUF executive board members’ allegations generally and refuted Ahmed Abdel Thaher’s, head of ETUF’s executive board, statements pertaining to his refusal to recognize any practical significance for the Court’s verdict. Abdel Thaher’s argues that the latest electoral session was not organized as per article 11 and that it was rather organized as per the ministerial decree no. 296 for the year 2006. In fact this particular ministerial decree, 296/2006, organizes elections in the exact same (unconstitutional) manner of article 11 (in decree no. 146/1996) except for the fact that there is only one mere difference in the denotation (or title) of the entity mandated for electoral organization. Hence the difference in denotation is that the entity mandated to organize elections is referred to by the “electoral sub-committee” in the latter and the “organizing group for polling and votes counting” in the former! This difference in the titles of the committee is yet another evidence of how the Egyptian regime customized laws and rules of procedures just to fit their undemocratic ends and to mislead the public in the regime’s attempts to disrespect democratic constitutional rulings rather than respecting and applying the latter. Nevertheless, ETUF’s executive board lacks the necessary skill and efficiency to hide their outraging circumvention of law.
Accordingly, CTUWS and EDLC demand, in the referred to memorandum, that Constitutional Court ruling no. 220 for year 19 CCJC be implemented stressing that the Court rules that the article which organizes ETUF’s elections with no direct judicial supervision over the voting and vote counting processes is deemed unconstitutional as an abstract principle. This article was decreed as per the amendments to article 41 of law 35 for the year 1976. This implies that all resulting elections and executive boards shall be nullified entirely. The memorandum also stresses that all executive boards throughout ETUF’s pyramid-like structure – an undemocratic structure which ETUF insists on maintaining – implies that all boards are elected by other boards of a lower hierarchy. Therefore, all unions’ executive boards (and union branches) shall be nullified throughout ETUF because their elections were organized by the unconstitutional article 11.