Egyptian Parliament (reuters)
Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – is slated to approve the final draft of its new bylaws in its Wednesday session after the finalising of their revision by the State Council in constitutional and legal terms.
Secretary-general of the Wafd Party and appointed MP Bahaaeddin Abu Shuqqa told reporters that the parliamentary committee charged with drafting the bylaws to go in line with the new constitution has approved "most of the amendments" proposed by the State Council.
"Most of these amendments are related to procedural issues, and will greatly help in making the new bylaws immune to any constitutional or legal appeals," said Abu Shuqqa.
He did, however, stress that "parliament has the right to approve or reject the council's proposed amendments," as its revision is just advisory and non-binding to the House.
Abu Shuqqa indicated that the committee has rejected some of the State Council's proposed amendments, at the top of which is that a financial compensation estimated at LE5,000 per month for MPs should not be tax free.
"We insist that this monthly reward be tax free because this is not a personal advantage for MPs, not to mention that it symbolises the independence and sovereignty of parliament," said Abu Shuqqa.
Abu Shuqqa also indicated that the committee has approved the revision of the State Council's proposal of draft laws within 30 days.
However, Abu Shuqqa said that the committee has decided that a text be added to the article (175) stating that in urgent cases, the speaker of parliament can ask the State Council to revise draft laws in a shorter time.
Abu Shuqqa said that if the final draft of the internal bylaws is approved by parliament on Wednesday, it would be referred to president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi for ratification and be issued into law – most likely next Sunday.
Abu Shuqqa concluded that the final promulgation of the House's bylaws will mean that parliament can now begin exercising its legislative and supervisory roles.
"Once enacted into law, parliament's 25 committees will be formed to take charge of supervising the government and discussing urgent laws on the media and other related issues," said Abu Shuqqa.
The Egyptian parliament's current 384-article bylaws were issued in October, 1979 – or eight years after the 1971 constitution was passed under the regime of late president Anwar Al-Sadat.
Parliament's new bylaws, consisting of 440 articles (438 plus two procedural articles), were drafted two years after the creation of the 2014 constitution and almost three months after the new House was elected.
Abu Shuqqa said the new bylaws go in line with Egypt's new liberal constitution, which states that Egypt is a mixed parliamentary-presidential system.
"As the new constitution stripped the presidency of many of its old powers, many articles were drafted to reflect this in the bylaws, at the top of which is the right of parliament to refer the president to trial," said Abu Shuqqa.