On the same day he left to China for political and economic talks, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified an anticipated electoral constituencies law, the final prerequisite for holding parliamentary elections, which would conclude the country's transitional roadmap.
The law drafted by Egypt's government last week will divide the country into 237 constituencies for individual candidacy seats and another four for party list seats.
The parliament will be comprised of a total of 567 seats, 120 for party-based candidates, 420 for independents and 27 for presidential appointees, as stipulated by an elections law issued by former interim president Adly Mansour in June, a day before El-Sisi's inauguration as president.
The constituencies' law in its current form was controversial as some political groups worried it may be ruled unconstitutional, raising doubts as to whether it satisfies article 102 in the 2014 constitution which stipulates that constituency seats be representative of the country's electorate.
Despite controversy, a statement issued by presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef on Monday assured the law’s legitimacy, saying that the law allows for each MP to represent equal segments of the electorate.
Youssef added that each constituency has the same number of voters and that governorates would all be equally represented inside the House of Representatives, regardless of their varied populations.
The presidency said in a November press statement that elections will be held in the first quarter of 2015.
The first two steps of the roadmap set at the time of the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s in 2013 were the passing of a new constitution and presidential elections, both of which were completed in 2014.
Several political forces, mainly left-of-centre and socialist, criticised the elections law issued in June for giving a small portion of total seats to party lists, which they say opens the door for corrupt Mubarak-era alliances to shape the makeup of the coming parliament.