CAIRO: President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi will meet with a number of chairpersons of political parties Tuesday to discuss the amendments made to the law regulating Egypt’s long-awaited parliament election, Youm7 reported.
The meeting is the first since the Cabinet approved the amendments in early May, but the second in 2015.
A committee tasked with amending the elections law has convened series of dialogue sessions with representatives of political parties to discuss amending the laws.
According to the new draft, “the number of parliamentary seats allocated to individual candidates has increased to 444 up from 420 in the old version of the law. The number of seats for members elected through electoral lists remains 120 seats, whereas 28-29 members, representing 5 percent of the total number of members, will be appointed by the president,” Transitional Justice Minister and head of the committee Ibrahim el-Heneidy was quoted by Youm7 in April.
He added: “the number of electoral districts was reduced, with their boundaries redrawn, from 227 to 202 by merging some of the electoral districts of new housing communities to others within the same area,”
The new amendments come in line with Constitutional Court’s ruling, which stipulated that each electoral district includes at least 169,000 voters.
El-Sayyed el-Badawy, Chairman of Egypt’s Al- Wafd liberal party has fiercely criticized the new draft, accusing the drafting committee of “ignoring recommendations and suggestions” submitted by his party and other opposition parties, according to Al-Wafd newspaper.
The criticism of political parties on the law is based on that it “violated” constitutional guarantees for equal and fair representation by giving individual candidates 80 percent of parliamentary seats.
“The law opens the door for the remnants [former President Hosni Mubarak’s supporters], with their power and huge financial potentials, to win the majority of the parliament’s seats,” Abdel-Ghaffar Shokr, Chairman of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was quoted by Al-Ahram.
Court rules election laws unconstitutional:
Egypt’s parliamentary elections, which had been scheduled to kick off March 22, were indefinitely postponed after the Constitutional Court ruled in March that articles on electoral districts and political participation within the elections law are unconstitutional.
The article that the court ruled unconstitutional divides electoral districts for the individual system seats.
Egypt has not had a parliament after its 2012 Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament was dissolved in 2012, months before the military-backed ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in June 2013.
The new date of the parliamentary race has not been determined yet.
Parliamentary elections represent the third and final step in a political roadmap set forth following the ouster of Morsi. The first two steps included passing a constitution in January 2014, followed by presidential elections in June 2014.