Parliamentary election system sparks debate
YOUM7/Ahmed Ismail

CAIRO: The political roadmap announced after the July 3 ouster of Mohamed Morsi stipulated the basic structure of the interim government, as well as parliamentary and presidential elections. As the nation gears up for the first round of presidential elections May 26-27, the date for the parliamentary elections is yet undecided.

A number of political parties have already considered a boycott of the parliamentary elections, which they say will only reinstate Mubarak-era figures. The system of the elections, whether they will be mixed or plurality, they say, can represent a huge difference in the power structure.

The candidates in a plurality system can win with a simple majority, whereas in a list system, voters cast ballots for a party, which then chooses its candidate internally. The Supreme Electoral Commission is responsible for announcing the system through with voters will elect their representatives, and has a deadline of six months past the adoption of the constitution to do so: July 17.

 According to the 2014 constitution, the parliament is entrusted with the authority to enact legislations and approve the general policy of the state, as well as the general plan of economic and social development and the state budget, and will not have less than 450 members.

Free Egyptians Party supports a mixed systemto elect the next parliament, partyspokesperson Shehab Wagih told Youm7 this week. He added that this would combine a plurality and list system, but that experimentation would be needed to figure out what is the most suitable for Egypt.

Salafist Nour Partyspokesperson Sherif Taha, told al-Bawabh News Monday, that the party is holding on to the mixed system in the next parliamentary elections to make the parliament more “balanced.”

The spokesperson of Strong Egypt Party told Al-Hayat newspaper that the party may boycott the elections in case of plurality voting system, Veto Gate reported last week.

Head of Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Mohamed Abou el-Ghar, told Al-Nahar Channel Saturday April 12, that plurality voting system “will cause conflicts and may restore the former symbols of Mubarak regime.”

Spokesperson of Transitional Justice Ministry, Mahmoud Fawzy, told Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper Tuesday that “conducting parliamentary elections with the list system is ‘inevitable’ according to the constitution that commits lawmakers to fairly represent various categories.”

During the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, two thirds of the parliament seats were chosen by list, and the rest were by the plurality voting system.

Islamist parties dominated the parliament then, like Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) that held 127 seats and the Salafist Nour Party that got 96 seats.

Alexandria court for urgent matters issued a verdict April 15 banning the Supreme Elections Committee and other authorities to accept the nomination of any Muslim Brotherhood members in any elections.

President Adly Mansour met March 12 number of political forces, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported, and stressed on the importance of conducting presidential elections and taking the necessary measures for parliamentary elections, in the period of six months following approving the newly adopted constitution, which means maximum July 17th.

Additionally reporting Mostafa Abdel Tawab. 

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