Q&A: Egypt parliament speaker talks exclusively to Ahram about chamber's achievements, challenges-part 4

Ahram Online , Friday 29 Sep 2017

Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal speaks exclusively to Alaa Thabet, the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper

Al-Ahram daily newspaper (AN): How do you view demands for complete judicial supervision of elections?

AA: The Egyptian constitution requires full judicial supervision for ten years. The country was going through exceptional circumstances when the constitution was drafted and this is why it prescribed full judicial supervision for ten years from the time of ratifying the charter.

The National Election Commission is an independent body and having full judicial supervision indefinitely is unacceptable and would disrupt the work of the judiciary.

AN: How do you view Egypt's international role at the current time?

AA: Egypt's regional and international role was somewhat diminished in the wake of the January 2011 and the July 2013 revolutions.
In a short time, nevertheless, Egypt has managed to get back on track. Egypt was elected a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and is now member of the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

Egypt also chairs the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). Egypt has bolstered its ties with the major world's powers and highlighted to the international community its leading role in fighting terrorism.

Foreign visits by parliamentary delegations have also played a major role in enhancing Egypt's image abroad and delivering facts about the situation in Egypt. Most of the visits followed invitations we received which reflects an interest of foreign countries to get to know the truth about the situation in Egypt.

During trips by MPs to take part in regional and international conferences, Egyptian lawmakers were named in major international positions, including my membership of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Also, the Egyptian parliament currently chairs the Parliamentary Assembly - Union for the Mediterranean. All this does contribute to bolstering Egypt's parliamentary diplomacy.

AN: What about rulings the parliament has not upheld?

AA: The parliament is keen to respect and uphold all judicial rulings, unless there are obstacles to upholding verdicts. In such cases, careful scrutiny of the verdict is required to identify the process of upholding it pursuant to the constitution. 

AN: How do you see this month's Human Rights Watch report about Egypt?

AA: Human rights are always a politicised issue that is being used to exercise pressure. The report tackled human rights violations in the US  as well, but put the spotlight on Egypt nevertheless.

We can confront such means of pressure or foreign agendas to undermine the country by national unity. Media also play a major role in this regard.

AN: Speaking about unity may jar with the current struggle of Egyptians in their daily lives. What do you think?

AA: Egypt has been through tougher phases, including in the wake of the 1967 and the 1973 wars. Only national unity among the people will allow us to always overcome foreign plots.


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