Egypt's Sisi approves new parliamentary election law

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Jul 2015

Earlier this week, the cabinet gave its seal of approval to three draft election laws, including the one ratified by El-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (Photo:AP)

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has ratified amendments to an election law regulating electoral constituencies, paving the way for setting a date for the long-delayed parliamentary poll, according to state news agency MENA.

The vote was set to be held last March before a court ruled part of the electoral districts law regulating the individual seats system was unconstitutional.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the lower chamber after ruling it was not constitutionally elected.

The new law allocates 448 seats to individual candidates and 120 seats to the winner-takes-all lists with quotas for youth, women, Christians and workers, as opposed to 420 seats for individuals and 120 for lists in the previous law.

The new law has also decreased constituencies from which individual candidates will be elected to 205 instead of 237, while maintaining four constituencies for the party lists.

Several political parties have voiced opposition to the new amendments, saying the legislation in its final form still opens the door to patronage politics and fails to provide fair representation, and accusing the government of ignoring their suggestions to improve it.

Earlier this week, the cabinet gave its seal of approval to three draft election laws: the one ratified by El-Sisi on Thursday, one regulating the workings of the house of representatives, and another governing the exercising of political rights.

Earlier this week, Ibrahim Al-Heneidy, Minister of Parliamentary Elections and Transitional Justice, said that the long-awaited vote might be held as early as September.

In April, El-Sisi said the election would be held before the end of the year.

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