Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
Egypt's parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal told MPs on Thursday that he has been forced to postpone the House's summer recess to next week.
"It was decided to adjourn for summer recess today (Thursday), but because we have a number of important draft laws, I opted that we hold more plenary meetings next week, beginning on Sunday (14 July)," said Abdel-Aal.
According to Abdel-Aal, it is necessary to discuss the NGOs law before parliament adjourns for summer recess.
"Out of responsibility and public interest and although the NGOs law came too late from the government, we decided to postpone the summer recess to next week to discuss this law and other ones," said Abdel-Aal.
The NGOs, as amended by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, was referred to parliament from the government last week. As a result, parliament's social solidarity committee held three meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss it. Deputy chairman of the Committee Mohamed Abu Hamed told reporters that the government-drafted NGOs law differs significantly from the current one, which was drafted and passed by parliament in 2016.
"I hope it will gain the satisfaction of NGOs operating inside and outside Egypt," said Abu Hamed.
Abdel-Aal said parliament's plenary meetings next week will also discuss the draft law on the Senate – or parliament's second house, and another law regulating rents of non-residential buildings.
Abdel-Aal sharply criticised the government, blaming it for showering parliament with a large number of laws just few days ahead of its summer recess.
"This policy is totally unacceptable and undisciplined, and that there should be a new policy that goes in line with parliament's legislative agenda," said Abdel-Aal.
On Thursday, parliament took a final vote on six laws: the law renewing the state of emergency for three months; the law on the budget of the Upper Egypt Development Organisation; the Stamp Tax; Civil and Private Universities; the Intellectual Property Rights; the Residence of Foreigners in Egypt; and the Egyptian Nationality.