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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Egypt: Parliamentary elections are postponed and expected to be held after Ramadan

Egyptian Parliament
(Image: Egyptian Streets)
Egypt’s Parliamentary elections initially scheduled to be held on 21-22 March nationwide are declared to be postponed due to security and technical reasons, stated Egypt’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim El-Heneidi.

Egypt’s Parliamentary elections are expected to be held not earlier than the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, stated the Minister. Ramadan is scheduled to begin on 18 June this year.

It’s worth mentioning that Parliamentary elections are the third important phase of the political roadmap issued by Egypt’s Armed Forces after ouster of the Islamist backed President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The first phase was amending the Constitution, the second phase was Presidential election and the third one is Parliamentary polls.

In addition to that there are also some changes in the electoral law, particularly in the electoral constituencies law, that need to be revised and approved by the Supreme Constitutional Court and Cabinet of Ministers, with the final draft to be presented before the elections to take place, added Mr. Heneidi. Special committee appointed by the government and charged with the drafting of the new electoral law has to present the final version of the law regarding the division of the constituencies and the number of seats in the new Parliament.

Ibrahim El-Heneidi is a Head of the electoral draft committee and he also added that there were some conflicting statistics regarding the numbers of voters in 12 constituencies that need to be resolved. The committee requested Egypt’s Public Mobilization and Statistics Agency to provide it with the latest information and statistics regarding the number of voters in the conflicting constituencies that unite several Egyptian governorates. This move is necessary in order to guarantee accuracy and equal representation of the voters during the election, said Mr. Heneidi.

Constitutional committee has reached an agreement that the number of the Parliamentary seats will be increased by 25, from 567 MPs to 592 MPs, in order to ensure equality and fair representation among the voters of different electoral constituencies, as some constituencies have more than 800,000 voters, while some others have only nearly 100,000 voters, so the number of seats could be distributed unfair, according to the Minister. Conflicting statistics of the voters’ numbers were reported in Cairo, Alexandria, Menoufiya, Gharbiya, Beni-Suef, Fayoum, Sohag and Qena, with some problems also in Upper Egypt governorates.

In addition to that the preliminary electoral constituencies division did not observe technical and security measures, according to the representatives of Egypt’s Ministry of Interior, that’s why the electoral constituencies’ law has to be revised.

Once the committee will receive the final figures from Egypt’s Public Mobilization and Statistics Agency it will need at least one weak to make a new division of the constituencies and to present the final draft that has to be approved later by the Cabinet of Ministers, Supreme Constitutional Court and Ministry of Interior as well. Then the final draft will be sent for revision and approval to the State’s Council’s Department of Legislation and Fatwas, added Mr. Heneidi. Thus, the long awaited Parliamentary polls are expected to be held only after the end of Ramadan.