Ratification of Egypt's new elections law could take 45 days: Official
Upcoming parliamentary polls – expected in weeks – cannot be held until amendment, ratification of draft elections law, member of Egypt's Shura Council declares
Ahram Online , Monday 18 Feb 2013
An Egyptian parliamentary session, (Photo: Al-Ahram archive).
The process of ratifying a new elections law could take at least 45 days despite plans to call for parliamentary polls within coming weeks, said Mamdouh Ramzi, member of the constitutional and legislative committee in the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's parliament.
The Shura Council, currently endowed with legislative powers following the dissolution of the People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) in June 2012, must now amend the draft elections law after certain articles were rejected by Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC).
On Monday, the HCC ruled five of the draft law's articles unconstitutional. Ramzi told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website that redrafting the law and sending it back to the HCC for review would take at least a month and a half, stressing the impossibility of holding parliamentary polls beforehand.
President Mohamed Morsi is expected to call for elections for Egypt's House of Representatives – formally known as the People's Assembly – soon. Presidential sources have recently hinted that the parliamentary electoral process would commence later this week or early next week.
According to Egypt's new constitution, the electoral process should begin on 23 February, 60 days after approval of the new constitution via popular referendum.
Egypt's last lower house of parliament was dissolved by the then-ruling military last summer, based on an HCC ruling against the assembly's constitutionality.
The Shura Council currently holds full legislative powers on a temporary basis until the election of a new House of Representatives.