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Nine political parties start initiative for new parliamentary elections law

The political parties participating in the initiative say the government ignored their suggestions in the current parliamentary elections draft law

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 May 2015
Egypt
A woman casts her vote during the first day of the parliamentary run-off elections in Cairo December 5, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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Nine political parties in Egypt launched on Sunday an initiative to draft a new parliamentary elections law in order to present it to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, instead of the amended current law handed over by the cabinet.

The parties also announced that they were holding a three-day workshop in order to draft the parliamentary elections law that would include their suggestions which were ignored by the government, according to their statement.

In a press conference held earlier Sunday, the Conservatives Party, which called for the meeting, announced that the nine parties demanded President El-Sisi not to issue the laws regulating the parliamentary elections presented by the government until the parties finish their workshop.

Among the nine parties participating in the initiative are: Al-Wafd Party, Conservatives Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party.

On the other hand, Salah Fawzy, a member of the government's official parliamentary elections amendments committee, slammed the political parties' announcement and workshop.

"The suggestion of drafting a new law violates the constitution which stipulates that the government is the only one to represent draft laws, while the president and the members of the parliament present suggestions only," the professor of constitutional law told Ahram Arabic News website.

Fawzy added that the nine parties do not represent all the parties in Egypt. "They are only nine parties out of 90 parties," he said.

According to Salah Fawzi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab held three meetings with the parties about the parliamentary elections laws to hear their suggestions, saying that many of them were already unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, he said that if the president or the prime minister received any suggestions to add to the amended elections law, the drafting committee would study them.

The recently amended parliamentary elections laws are set to be revised by the state council in the upcoming two weeks. After their revision and the approval of the State Council, the government will present the laws to the presidency in order to be officially issued.

Parliamentary elections constitute the third and final step in a political roadmap set forth following the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The first two steps included passing a constitution in January 2014, followed by presidential elections in June 2014.

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