File Photo: Constitutional expert Ali Abdel-Al (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal told MPs in a plenary session on Sunday that the House has recently been the target of rumours that have caused much misunderstanding among the public and political circles.
“The first rumour is that parliament is currently debating an amendment of the law regulating old housing rents – widely known as the landlord-tenant relationship law,” said Abdel-Aal, adding that “this is completely untrue.”
“Yes it is true that some MPs have proposed some amendments to this law, but these are just proposals and do not mean anything official in parliament,” said Abdel-Aal.
Abdel-Aal also dismissed reports that parliament is currently discussing new laws regulating the election of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“I was even surprised that some MPs were talking to the media about the make-up of each chamber and the election system that will be implemented,” said Abdel-Aal, indicating that “parliament can discuss laws on parliamentary elections only after they gain consensus among all political forces.”
“The Supreme Constitutional Court stipulates that election laws should gain consensus and observe equality so that no majority party or political coalition in parliament can draft them in a way that serves its own interests,” said Abdel-Aal.
Abdel-Aal urged MPs to exercise caution when talking to the media.
“You are politicians, and when you talk with the media, you should be keen to indicate that these are your own personal views and not those of parliament as a whole,” said Abdel-Aal.
There has recently been widespread speculation among political forces on whether two new laws regulating Egypt’s two parliamentary chambers – the House of Representatives and the Senate – are being drafted.
The speculation came after a number of constitutional amendments were passed by parliament on 16 April and approved in a referendum on 23 April. The amendments create a second chamber by the name of the Senate and reduce the number of the House’s MPs from 596 to 450.