'Support Egypt' first coalition to receive recognition in parliament

Ahram Online , Monday 9 May 2016

The official recognition of 'Support Egypt' will allow its MPs to gain control of parliament’s 25 committees, for which elections will be held in May

File Photo: Members of Egypt's Parliament attend the inaugural session, the first to convene in three years, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 (AP)

Egypt's parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al announced during Monday's evening session that the Support Egypt bloc is the first coalition in parliament to be officially recognised by the House.

Abdel-Al stated that the coalition, which is currently made up of 315 MPs, had a total of 337 hopeful members, though the remaining MPs are awaiting approval from their respective parties to join the bloc.

Of the 337 hopeful members, 121 are party members and 216 are independents.

Abdel-Al had disclosed in April that he received requests from around 300 MPs asking for official recognition for the Support Egypt coalition.

Article 99 of the internal bylaws stipulates that for a parliamentary coalition to be officially recognised, it must include no less than 25 percent of MPs, and that they come from at least 10 governorates.

The Support Egypt coalition, widely believed to be loyal to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was founded by late MP Sameh Seif El-Yazal last November, and is now led by MP Saad El-Gammal, who was a member of former president Hosni Mubarak’s now-defunct ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and chairman of the 2005-2010 parliament’s Arab Affairs Committee.

The official formation of Support Egypt will allow its MPs to gain control of parliament’s 25 committees, for which elections will be held in May.

Two other coalitions are expected to be formed ahead of committee elections; one led by MPs affiliated with the Free Egyptians Party and a number of independents, and another led by the liberal Wafd Party.

A parliamentary bloc called the “25-30 Group” – named after the two revolutions of 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013 – also announced that it aims to form a leftist parliamentary coalition.

Egypt’s parliament is composed of 596 MPs, with around 40 percent affiliated with political parties and 60 percent independents. 

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