Egypt kicks off celebrations of 150 years in parliamentary life

Ahram Online , Sunday 9 Oct 2016

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that the parliament reflects the maturity of political life of the country

El-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during Sunday's celebrations marking 150 years since Egypt's first parliament (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

Egypt marked on Sunday 150 years since the election of its first parliament in a celebration attended by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi along with international parliamentary dignitaries.  

Egypt's first parliament was elected in 1866, the first in the Arab world and Africa, with 76 representatives, compared to the 596 MPs in the current chamber.

During his speech at the celebration gathering in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, El-Sisi said that the parliament mirrors the landscape of Egypt's political parties in a manner that speaks of "development and maturity of the country's political experience."

He said last year's legislative election marked a new phase of parliamentary life in Egypt by "electing the most pluralist chamber in the country's history," with over 40% youth and 90 female MPs.

The two-day celebration that kicked off today was attended by 19 parliament speakers as well as 15 parliamentary delegations from around the globe, state news agency MENA said.

Attendees included Martin Chungong, the secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. 

Parliament's speaker Ali Abdel-Al said during his speech that the event celebrates "Egypt reliving its past and the struggle of its people on the path of democracy."

Abdel-Al added that Egypt's 2014 constitution entrenches "rules to establish a modern democratic state based on pluralism, rejection of sectarianism and one that does not undermine rights or infringe on individuals' rights and defends the independence of judiciary."

He called on MPs to reconsider the "definition of terrorism in all its forms and identify legal means to root it out."

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