Egyptian minister expects municipal elections to be held within a year

Aswat Masriya , Wednesday 13 Jan 2016

Ahmed Zaki Badr
Ahmed Zaki Badr

Municipal elections are expected to be held within a year after a draft local administration law gets discussed in the parliament, Egypt’s local development minister said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Ahmed Zaki Badr added that the bill is currently being “updated” to be on par with the constitution with regard to "decentralisation".

In the next municipal elections, representation of women, youth, workers and farmers will be ensured, Badr added, according to a press release that was made available to Aswat Masriya.

Article 180 of the 2014 Constitution stipulates: "Every local unit elects a local council by direct, secret ballot for a term of four years. A candidate must be no younger than 21 years old.

"The law regulates other conditions for candidacy and procedures of election, provided that one quarter of the seats are allocated to youth under 35 years old, one quarter is allocated for women, workers and farmers are represented by no less than 50 percent of the total number of seats, and these percentages include a proper representation of Christians and people with disability."

A newly-elected Egyptian parliament was inaugurated on January 10.

The minister also said that a bill is being drafted to change the categorisation of construction violations from misdemeanour to felony in order for such violations to be reduced. A six-story residential building in the northern province of Sharqiya collapsed on Monday, killing three persons, including two children, and injuring others.

Badr spoke about corruption, saying that the state "fights corruption and never conceals it. Whoever commits a violation gets referred to an investigation."

On Tuesday, a fact-finding committee formed by Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi released a report in which it criticised statements made by the head of the the Central Auditing Authority (CAA), a state anti-corruption agency that monitors financial institutions and government bodies.

The CAA's head said corruption in government bodies has reached EGP 600 billion (around $75 billion) in the period between 2012 and 2015. But the fact-finding commission dismissed these allegations and said they "lack credibility". 

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