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Friday, July 10, 2015

Egypt’s President El-Sisi approves new parliamentary election law

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
(Image: Christian Post)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has ratified newly amended parliamentary election law on Thursday, 9 July. This electoral law saw several versions of amendments what caused a delay of the next step of the roadmap for Egypt set by Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi after ouster of Mohamed Morsi that included electing new Parliament.

Parliamentary elections were previously set to be held in March 2015 but were delayed due to the necessity of amendments of the parliamentary election law, as Egypt’s Constitutional Court ruled out that some parts of the law regulating elections in the electoral districts and constituencies were in fact unconstitutional.

Egypt has been without Parliament since June 2012 when the Lower Chamber of the previous Parliament was dissolved after the decision of court that that Parliament was election also unconstitutional. It’s worth mentioning also that the previous Parliament in Egypt was strongly dominated by the Islamist political parties.

The new parliamentary election law was amended and recently approved by Egypt’s Cabinet of Ministers, as the Parliament that actually has legislative authorities is currently absent. Later this draft law was sent for approval to Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

New election law allocates 448 seats for the individual candidates and 120 seats for the party lists candidates with the set quotas for women, youth, Christians, representatives of minorities, disabled people, workers and farmers. In the previous edition of the electoral law there were only 420 seats allocated for the individual candidates and 120 for the party lists.

In addition to that the new election law decreased the number of the constituencies from which individual candidates will be elected. Thus, the number of the constituencies decreased from 237 to 205, while it maintains four constituencies for the candidates from the parties’ lists.

This election law was also criticized by some political forces and experts as the law in its final edition still opens the doors to the patronage politics and does not provide fair representation of the candidates and political forces during the upcoming elections.

Earlier this week Egyptian government also approved and sent for the presidential approval other three drafts of elections laws, among them the parliamentary election law that was ratified by Mr. El-Sisi on Thursday, 9 July, another law regulating functioning of the Parliament’s House of Representatives and the third one that governs and guarantees exercising of the civil and political rights of the citizens.

Thus, after President’s approval of the amended parliamentary election law the vote could be held as early as in September, according to Ibrahim El-Heneidy, Egypt’s Minister of Parliamentary Elections and Transitional Justice.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in his turn stated in April 2015, after the long awaited elections were postponed, that the vote will be held till the end of this year.