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Sisi to resume meetings with political parties for second day

Talks are the first of their kind since President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took office last year

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Jan 2015
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President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with party leaders Monday. (Source: Al-Ahram)
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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is scheduled to meet political party leaders on Tuesday for the second day of talks.

On Monday, the president told the convened political groups that he would favour a “national party list” in the upcoming presidential elections and promised to back such a list if it would bring political parties together.

He also said the upcoming parliament will have broad powers, which necessitates choosing the best candidates who can take responsibility for tackling the challenges facing Egypt, according to the presidency's spokesperson, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

El-Sisi called upon the political parties to form coalitions that would strengthen them on the political scene and make their participation in the upcoming parliament's activities effective.

The two days of talks, which come three months ahead of the parliamentary polls, are the first of their kind since El-Sisi took office last year.

The dialogue included talks about election preparations, and several party leaders commented on the election law.

Several party leaders expressed the need to renew religious discourse and correct the wrong concepts about religion, according to the president's statement.

Party leaders also talked with the president about social justice, development plans and human rights, as the president called for reviewing the status of the detained youth and releasing those who are proven innocent.

The head of the Reform and Development Party, Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, said he had discussed several issues with the president, including the restrictive protest law, which he said El-Sisi assured him could be amended in the upcoming parliament.

The parliamentary elections will take place in two stages, the first in March and the second in April.

President of the leftist Tagammu Party, Sayed Abdel-Al, said the president had assured him there would be no interference with the process of the polls.

Parliamentary polls are the last step in a “roadmap to democracy” set forth following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 after only one year in office.

Egypt has not had a parliament since a majority-Islamist parliament was disbanded in June 2012 when the high constitutional court dubbed the law upon which the parliament was elected in 2011 as “unconstitutional."

President El-Sisi holds all legislative power until a new parliament is sworn in. In addition to drafting new legislation, the upcoming parliament is expected to vote on decrees issued by El-Sisi and his predecessor, interim president Adly Mansour.

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