39. The barriers that prevent the integration of all society from being components in the political system – Copts as an applied case

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Jundī discusses the barriers that hamper Copts from political participation. In this article, he writes about the first barrier, the absence of political participation.

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The author states that there are three main barriers that prevent the integration of Copts, as one component of Egyptian society, in the political system. In this article, he highlights the first barrier, the absence of political participation. Jundī points out that the issue of Coptic political participation has been subjected to extensive research in an effort to reach a suitable solution. He explains that there is only one Coptic member out of 444 members in the Egyptian parliament. To find an outlet, Dr. Rif‘at al-Sa‘īd, head of al-Tajammu‘ Party, called for “positive discrimination” through the appointment of some women and Copts in the parliament and this was also confirmed by some law jurisprudents, such as Counselor Dr. Fathī Rajab, who believes that constitutional provisions should be integrated to serve society’s interests and achieve objective aims.
In 2009, a law was issued to guarantee that no less than 46 seats were allocated for women to give them the chance to participate in the parliament. This law raised many queries around the idea of similar positive discrimination for Copts but the official reactions demonstrated total rejected the idea on the pretext that it goes against Copts’ rights. Moreover, when the quota system for Copts was presented as a temporary solution it was rejected by the official leadership as well under the pretence that this will cause separation in a unified society and will affect citizenship. The author states that there is an official consensus that such systems will ruin national unity.
Finally, the author states that there was a hope that the proportional list system would be applied but this hope vanished when President Mubārak announced in the National Party Conference on September 1, 2009 that the individual system is still the most appropriate. After all, Jundī believes that there is no official intention to solve such a problem.

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