High Parliamentary Elections Committee forms secretariat-general
Egyptian Parliament - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO:  High Parliamentary Elections Committee head Judge Ayman Abbas ordered Tuesday the establishment of the committee’s secretariat-general in preparation for upcoming parliamentary elections.

Committee spokesperson Medhat Idris said the secretariat is expected to include 28 members from different judicial institutions, Youm7 reported Tuesday.

The date for parliamentary elections has not yet been set despite wide political controversy over the delay, since the roadmap announced following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi stated that parliamentary elections should be held no longer than six months after the constitution was adopted.

The constitution was approved by referendum on Jan. 19, following a majority of “yes” votes in a referendum. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, elected a few months later, ordered the organization of the High Parliamentary Elections Committee in July. The committee is charged with scheduling the elections.

Some political figures, however, are concerned with the parliamentary law and hope the postponement of elections will be a chance for the committee to re-evaluate the law organizing parliamentary elections.

Mohamed Sami, president of the Nasserist Karama Party, suggested political parties pursue further efforts with the presidency to “amend the law and reconsider the distribution of electoral constituencies,” he told Youm7 on July 26.

On a similar note, political experts see an opportunity for political parties to better prepare for the elections, especially as political alliances remain rocky. Mohamed Kamal, a Cairo University professor of political science, told Al-Bawaba News in July that political forces should review how they will create a “balanced” parliament.

Political entities are mostly worried about the electoral system, split between the list and individual candidacy systems. “The law defining constituencies must be reviewed in order to avoid legal appeal once the new parliament is formed,” Maged Sami, member of the Free Egyptians Party, added in statement to Al-Bawaba News on July 26.

Political parties have criticized the law since the beginning of its draft, claiming they are struggling to acquire fair representation in the next parliament after the recently drafted law decided the majority of seats would be reserved for individual candidates, in addition to percentages of representation of different social factions imposed in the list candidacy system.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim Kasse and Mostafa Abdel Tawab.

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