Egypt's new cabinet to face vote of confidence in parliament Sunday

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 14 Jul 2018

The cabinet of newly appointed Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly will face a vote of confidence in parliament Sunday

An ad hoc parliamentary committee will review the policy statement of newly appointed Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in a plenary session on Sunday ahead of a vote of confidence in the new cabinet.

First deputy speaker El-Sayed El-Sherif, the head of the ad hoc committee, told journalists that a report prepared by the committee has recommended that the government be granted a vote of confidence.

"The report will be read out in Sunday's plenary session ahead of the vote of confidence," said El-Sherif, adding that "the report assured in general terms that as the government in its policy statement vowed that it will give top priority to improving the living conditions of most Egyptians, particularly the poor and limited income classes, so MPs from different political parties agreed that it deserves a vote of confidence."

El-Sherif indicated that the ad hoc's committee report, which was finalised in 10 days, was submitted to parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal on 12 July and MPs will cast their votes on Sunday.

Madbouly was sworn in as prime minister on 14 June. He presented the policy statement on 3 July, telling MPs that his new government aims to focus on five areas of work; strengthening national security, implementing social protection programmes, boosting economic development, raising productivity and improving the standard of living for poorer citizens.

The statement also vowed to revitalise political life, reinforce political parties, boost of participation of citizens in public life and issue more laws on respecting human rights.

The ad hoc committee said in its report that "the weakness of the country's political parties stands as an obstacle in the face of achieving functioning democracy in Egypt."

"Not to mention that the lack of an effective municipal system capable of creating political leaders also contributed to weakening public participation in political life," said the report.

The report praised the government's policy in the area of fighting terrorism without compromising human rights.

"The report recommended that the army-supported comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 continue until the peninsula is rid of all terrorists affiliated with Daesh," said Al-Sherif.

The report also argued that the statement highlighting that Egypt will continue to help neighbouring countries like Libya fight terrorist groups was a commendable strategy.

The report also said that the government has an ambitious programme to cut the country's public debts. However, the report urged the government to take more serious steps to boost tax revenues and tackle tax evasion.

The report said the government should be committed to ensuring health budget increases to three percent of GDP, as required by the constitution.

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