Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and as such Egypt's de facto ruler, will not be present at the upcoming opening session of the People's Assembly as it is against parliamentary custom, according to the Assembly's secretary, Sami Mahran.
Mahran, who announced the news Friday, explained that according to parliamentary norms, the country's president, or effective president, does not attend the opening session of the People's Assembly. Rather, a formal presidential decree has to issued, calling upon members of the People's Assembly, Egypt's lower parliamentary house, to hold a special session in which the country's head of state attends.
The opening session of Egypt's first post-Mubarak People's Assembly is scheduled for Monday, 23 January, at 11am, as set by an announcement made by Tantawi in late December.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party secured the lion's share of seats in elections that took place in three stages starting 28 November 2011. The Salafist Nour Party ranked second, with the liberal Wafd Party third, followed by the Egyptian Bloc, according to polling statistics.
Final results are due to be announced Saturday, 21 January.