Egypt parliament to adjourn for summer recess this week

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 6 Jul 2019

Parliament is scheduled to convene on Sunday to discuss a number of controversial new laws before MPs adjourn for summer recess

File Photo: Egyptian Parliament (Photo: Reuters)
Informed sources told reporters on Saturday that Egypt’s parliament – the House of Representatives – is expected to adjourn for a three-month summer recess on Tuesday.
This week will be the end of parliament's fourth legislative season.
The next season (2019/2020), expected to begin before the first Thursday of October, will be the last one, after which elections will be held in October 2020 to form a new parliament.
Before it wraps up its current session, parliament will discuss eight controversial laws.
These include amendments to the law (136/1981) covering old rents of non-residential units; the law (17/1983) regulating the Bar Association; the law (72/2017) on general investments ; and the two laws regulating the residence of foreigners in Egypt (89/1960) and Egyptian nationality (26/1975).
The list also comprises amendments to the law on intellectual property rights (82/2002); the law on institutional regulation of the production of drugs, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies; and the law on metal wealth (198/2014).
Alaa Wali, the head of parliament's housing committee, told reporters last week that the government-drafted changes to the law covering old rents of non-residential units was made to go in line with the ruling issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court in May 2018.
"The court judges that the first paragraph of Article 18 is to be invalidated because it allows old contracts to continue indefinitely," said Wali, adding that "as a result, the law was amended to state that the life of a rent contract will henceforth be five years, and that rents can be increased by 15 percent annually."
However, Wali indicated that the final word on this amendment will be left for MPs to decide during the final debate this week.
Wali also explained that the perpetuation of rent contracts was an injustice to landlords.
"Since the two laws on non-residential units, passed in 1977 and 1981, landlords have not been able to raise the value of rents to go in line with inflation rates," said Wali, adding that "so it was necessary to amend the law to strike some kind of balance between tenants and landlords."
Kamal Amer, head of the defence and national security committee, also said the amendments of the two laws regulating the residence of foreigners in Egypt and Egyptian nationality aim to give new incentives to encourage foreign investors to come to Egypt and invest.
"Under the changes, Egyptian nationality can be granted for the first time against payment of a specified sum of money and upon the approval of a cabinet unit and the prime minister," said Amer.
The amendment of the investment law also aims to incentivise existing projects to expand and open new production lines, creating new employment opportunities.
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