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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Egypt new cabinet's policy statement before parliament expected next week

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 23 Jun 2018
Mostafa Madboul
Egypt's prime minister Mostafa Madbouly (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's parliamentary spokesperson Salah Hassaballah told reporters on Saturday that Egypt's new government, sworn in by president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on 14 June and led by PM Mostafa Madbouly, is expected to submit its policy statement to parliament next week.

Hassaballah said that "many guessed that the new government would deliver its policy statement before parliament on 23 June, but this was not correct."

Article 146 of the constitution states that a newly appointed prime minister must deliver a policy statement before parliament, after which MPs should vote on the policy, in a process that ends within 30 days of the appointment of the PM.

"I think that the government was not able to prepare its policy statement in such a short time," said Hassaballah, explaining that "it was almost impossible for the government to prepare a detailed document that will be the subject of heavy discussion and a vote of confidence in just one week or eight days."

"Parliament has so far not received a final say on which day the government's policy statement will be delivered, but we think it will be next week," said Hassaballah.

Hassaballah said that "after the new prime minister delivers his policy statement, a parliamentary committee will be formed to review and discuss the document in detail."

"In accordance with Article 126 of parliament's internal bylaws, the ad hoc committee must prepare its report on the government's policy statement within 10 days , and this committee should be headed by parliament's deputy speaker and include majority, independent and opposition MPs to reflect all points of view on the statement," said Hassaballah.

Article 126 also stipulates that "parliament's discussion of its report on the government's policy statement must not exceed 10 days, at the end of which there should be a vote of confidence and this entire process should be completed within 30 days."

Hassaballah said that "once the policy statement is submitted, parliament's 25 committees will meet to discuss it and give comments."

"All of their remarks will form part of the comprehensive report which will be prepared by the ad hoc committee," said Hassaballah.

He added that "we expect that the new government led by Mostafa Madbouly will submit to parliament a detailed statement which will outline its policies in all sectors of life in Egypt in the coming period, and that this will receive at least 10 days of discussion in parliament."

Article 146 of the constitution states that "if a new government's policy statement gains confidence of the majority of MPs (at least 300 MPs) within 30 days at the most, the president shall name a prime minister who is nominated by the political party or coalition that holds the majority or the highest number of seats in parliament."

"If the government of such a prime minister fails to gain confidence, parliament will be considered dissolved, and the president shall call for new parliamentary elections within 60 days."

Independent MP Mostafa Bakri does not expect that new government led by Mostafa Madbouli will fail to gain confidence.

"MPs know that the option of rejecting the cabinet's policy statement or refusing to give it a vote of confidence is a very costly one, which means that parliament will be dissolved and a new one elected," said Bakri, adding that "but MPs will be keen to discuss the policy statement in detail and use all possible supervisory tools to ensure that the government will perform well and that its economic reform and austerity measures will not harm the poor and the needy."

MPs approved a new law on financial leasing on Saturday. Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said the law aims to support small-scale investors to play a bigger role in the national economy.

Parliament is expected to adjourn for summer recess within two weeks.

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