UK minister 'concerned' by absence of a parliament in Egypt

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Mar 2015

The statement comes in reaction to news that Egypt has postponed parliamentary elections, as Supreme Court ruled parts of election laws unconstitutional

Tobias Ellwood
British Minister Tobias Ellwood (C) during his visit to the new Suez canal along with Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mameesh (L) in January (Photo: The British embassy in Cairo)

British Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood expressed on Sunday his concern that there has not been a “full parliament” in Egypt for two and a half years, following the postponement of elections originally set for March.

“An effective and representative parliament is integral to the democratic transition on which Egypt’s stability and success depend,” said Ellwood.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) on Sunday ruled that the country’s Elections Constituency Division Law is unconstitutional, as petitioners have argued that it violates the principle of fair, proportional representation of all voters.

Egypt has been without a parliament since the House of Representatives elected in late 2011 was dissolved in June 2012, following a court ruling that judged the law regulating its election to be unconstitutional.

The British minister however welcomed Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s “commitment to amend the electoral laws within a month.”

“I encourage all relevant institutions in Egypt to take the necessary steps to hold free and constitutional parliamentary elections as soon as possible and to complete the road map announced in July 2013,” said Ellwood.

Parliamentary elections constitute the third and final step in a political roadmap set forth following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The first two steps included passing a constitution in January 2014, followed by presidential elections in June 2014.

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