Egypt's Sisi ratifies laws governing legislative elections, including law on Senate

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Jul 2020

The new laws will govern upcoming legislative elections and set the composition of the newly constituted upper house of parliament


Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified Thursday four laws governing legislative elections, including a law on the formation of the Senate, the country’s new Upper house of parliament.

The ratified laws include House of Representatives Law 46/2014, and two other laws on the Exercise of Political Rights (Law 45/2014) and the Performance of the National Election Committee (Law 198/2017).

According to the Senate law, two thirds of the chamber will be elected in a direct secret ballot through a closed-list system and individual system, while the remaining third will be appointed by the president. The senate’s term lasts for five years.

The Senate law also stipulates that women should have no less than 10 percent of Senate seats.

The amendments to the House of Representative Law states that the number of the House's elected MPs shall stand at 568, instead of 540, in line with Article 102 of Egypt's 2019-amended constitution.

According to Article 3 of the 2019 amendments to the House law, 50 percent of this number (284 MPs) will be elected via the individual system, and 50 percent (284 MPs) will be elected through the closed list system.

The article also stipulates that 25 percent of the total number of the House's seats shall be reserved for women.

The president shall be authorised to appoint no more than five percent of the total number of MPs.

Meanwhile, Article 4 states that the individual candidacy system shall be implemented in a number of electoral districts, while the closed list system will be in application in four districts, two of which will elect 84 MPs (42 each) and two will elect 200 MPs (100 each).

The House saw disagreements among representatives of political parties over the amendments to the election system that will regulate upcoming parliamentary elections before the changes were passed by a majority of MPs.

The amendments to the laws on the Exercise of Political Rights and the Performance of the National Election Committee (NEC) state that the NEC shall decide on appeals filed on the results of the election within 24 hours, and in doing so it shall observe the requirements of integrity, neutrality and fairness of the ballot process.

The sitting House of Representatives was elected in late 2015 for a five-year term.

The final drafts of the laws governing legislative elections were drafted and submitted to the House for a vote in June by the parliamentary majority ‘Support Egypt’ coalition.

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