Egypt expected to form new supreme press council, parliament to amend current press law

Ahram Online , Monday 13 Jun 2016

A new bill regulating press and media is awaiting the House of Representatives' approval

A man reads Al-Akhbar newspaper. (File Photo: AP)

Egyptian MPs want a new supreme press council to be formed, in an attempt to find an interim solution to the fact that the appointment period of the national press institutions' editors-in-chief ends in June, while the new media law is yet to be issued.

A total of 324 MPs signed a proposal on Sunday to amend the current press law to form a new supreme press council, a proposal expected to be approved by the end of June, MP Mostafa Bakry said according to MENA agency.

The new law would replace the supreme press council with a higher media council to regulate the media and the press, in addition to two separate national authorities governing public and private media organisations, in accordance with the constitution.

The new law was endorsed by the cabinet on 16 May, awaiting parliament approval.

The amendment proposal adds to: "the president of the republic issues a decision to form the supreme press council", which is in Article 68 of the press law, Law no. 96 of 1996, the following: "until the law organising the press and the media is issued, on the basis that the council will take the powers and responsibilities that were taken upon by the Shura Council regarding matters of press, journalists and national press institutions in this law and other laws."

In Law no. 96 of 1996, the supreme council is presided over by the head of the Shura Council and includes editors-in-chief of national press institutions.

The amendment is in preparation to change the national press institutions' editors-in-chief whose term of appointment expires at the end of June, Bakry said.

The Shura Council was dissolved in July 2013 and abolished by the 2014 constitution, which refers to the House of Representatives only.

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