Egypt parliament's new bylaws to go into effect next week

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 30 Mar 2016

The Egyptian parliament's new bylaws are ‎expected to be enacted into law next Sunday

Egyptian Parliament	(reuters)
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. ‎

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