Sisi urges cabinet to amend unconstitutional parliamentary law within a month
Ahram Online, , Sunday 1 Mar 2015
Until a parliament is elected for the first time since 2012, all legislative power will remain in the hands of the president

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday urged the cabinet to amend a law regulating parliamentary elections, which the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled on Sunday were "unconstitutional", within a month.

Earlier in the day, the Higher Electoral Commision (HEC) put parliamentary elections previously set for March on hold, following a SCC ruling which deemed the Elections Constituency Division Law “unconstitutional.”

The Elections Constituency Division Law determines the number of voters per constituency and their representation.

"Article 3 of the Law 202 for the year 2014, which regulates the individual seats system for the House of Representatives, is unconstitutional," SCC Judge Anwar Al-Aasy announced in a SCC session on state TV.

The petitioners against the constitutionality of the law have argued that it violates the principle of fair, proportional representation of all voters.

Article 102 of the constitution stipulates that “the division of electoral constituencies must guarantee the equal representation of the population, and governorates, as well as the equitable representation of voters.”

The House of Representatives is comprised of 567 seats: 420 will be elected as individuals, while 120 are reserved for party lists. Five percent, or 27, of these seats will be appointed by the president upon recommendations from respective state councils and professional syndicates.

HEC spokesman Omar Marwan told the press that the commission will convene an urgent meeting to discuss the consequences of the court verdict.

El-Sisi stressed that the changes to the law should be made in accordance to the constitution and to the ruling of the SCC in order to entrench the principle of the rule of law.

The Egyptian president highlighted that all state organisations will work together to hold the parliamentary elections as soon as possible.

The first stage of the vote was scheduled to take place from 21 to 22 March for expats, and from 22 to 23 March for Egyptian residents. The second stage was to take place from 25 to 26 April for expats, and from 26 to 27 April for Egyptian residents.

Egypt has been without a parliament for three years, after the house of representatives elected in late 2011 was dissolved in June 2012, following a court ruling that judged the law that regulated its election to be unconstitutional.

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, along with Salafist parties and independent Islamist members of parliament, held the majority in the last parliament.

Until a newly elected parliament convenes, the president holds all legislative powers.