Egypt's parliament opens third legislative session amid hard economic challenges

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 1 Oct 2022

Following a three-month summer recess, Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – held an opening procedural meeting on Sunday.

Egyptian parliament
File Photo: Egypt s parliament during a session. Al-Ahram


The meeting began by reading out President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's decree (440/2022) on 22 September, calling on the House to reconvene on Saturday to start its third legislative session which begins on 1 October 2022 and ends in the middle of July 2023.

Speaker Hanafi Gibali, who chaired the meeting, said "in the House's third legislative session, we will focus on priorities that serve the nation's interests and needs."

"Let's complete our way towards building the new republic which was founded by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi," said Gibali, adding that "the House will have a busy legislative agenda in its third session (2022/23) and we as MPs should all be up to this responsibility amid a very hard global crisis."

"There is no doubt that we are all now living in a world rife with formidable challenges triggered by successive international crises which have put all the world’s countries in a very complicated situation full of tension and anxiety," said Gibali.

"Egypt is no exception, and even though we are all aware of the difficulty of these challenges and the state's attempts to contain their negative impact, we are sure that we can face them, but provided that we all unite in one solid internal front and line up behind our wise political leadership and national institutions, as these stand in the frontline to defend our nation."

"The global economic crisis has become the talk of all in local and international circles, including Egypt, and that this crisis has become a threat to the international political order, not to mention that it has left a negative impact on the movement of international trade and the exchange of exports and imports," said Gibali.

Gibali indicated that "despite the Egyptian state's great and unprecedented achievements aimed at rebuilding the future of our nation, we still have a long way to stand up to all challenges facing us."

"In the House's third legislative session, we – the House and the government – will work in close coordination with each other to discuss the necessary legislation and solve the problems facing citizens," said Gibali.

"Let's recall that on 6 October 1973, we were able to achieve victory, and on the day marking this occasion this week, let's recall that we can defeat all challenges and achieve victory again and this will only come through exercising our responsibilities and duties in a sincere and honest way."

MPs approved sending a message to President El-Sisi, praising his "wise and balanced policies that aim to reinforce internal security and support public freedoms."

MPs also voted in favour of a presidential decree placing some parts of the Peninsula of Sinai under exceptional security measures for an additional six months, beginning on 3 October 2022.

Ashraf Rashad, the parliamentary spokesperson of the majority party of Mostaqbal Watan (the Nation's Future), said "the extension of exceptional security measures in Sinai is important in order to fight terrorism."

"We have already achieved victory over terrorist elements there and right now we have begun another battle, but this time it is a battle for reconstructing Sinai and fighting the remnants of dark forces," said Rashad.

Rashad also indicated that "with a view to the current global crises, we should all stand in one line behind the country's political leadership and President El-Sisi in order to be able to stand up to them."

The two parliamentary spokespersons of the Republican People's Party and Al-Wafd party also approved the presidential decree imposing exceptional security measures in North Sinai for another six months.

"This decree aims to preserve the stability and sovereignty of the nation and protect institutions and fortunes from terrorist attacks," said Wafdist MP Soliman Wahdan.

House speaker Hanafi Gibali indicated that there will be another three procedural sessions on Sunday.

In the first, MPs will put themselves forward for membership of the House’s 25 committees. The second and third sessions will see the election of the leading posts of the House's committees and the announcement of the results. Each MP should join two committees, and elect one chairman, two deputies and one secretary general for each of the House's 25 committees.

Speaker Gibali also announced that legislative amendments to eight laws had been referred by the government ahead of the new session.

These are related to the laws regulating Civil Affairs, the Telecommunications Sector, the Suez Canal Authority, the Egyptian Nationality, the Possession of Weapons and Ammunition, the Nuclear Power Stations, Al-Azhar, and Industrial Establishments.

Speaker Gibali also revealed that the House had received seven foreign agreements from the government and that he had tasked the House's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee with discussing them and concluding if they go in line with the constitution. 

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