Egypt's newly-elected Senate to hold opening session within two weeks

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 21 Sep 2020

The first meeting will be held to elect a chairman and two deputies

Shoura Council
The Senate will convene in the premises of the former Shoura Council (Photo:Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Alaa Fouad told reporters that Egypt's newly-elected Senate will be ready to hold its opening meeting within the next two weeks or on the first of October at the latest.

Shawki El-Sayed, a constitutional expert and a former Shura Council member, indicated that Article 115 of the constitution, which states that the president of the republic shall invite the House of Representatives to hold its annual opening session before the first Thursday of the month of October, also applies to the Senate.

"The opening session shall be headed by the most senior senator and shall be devoted to members taking the constitutional oath, and then electing a chairman and two deputies," said El-Sayed.

Minister Fouad said "the newly-elected Senate will be ready to hold its opening session once the president of the republic's decree on naming 100 appointees is declared."

Minister Fouad also revealed that the House of Representatives is expected to hold a sixth legislative season.

"The House's tenure will expire on 9 January 2021, and until then there will be time for MPs to meet and discuss a list of new laws which will be referred by the government," said Fouad, adding that "the list includes laws on Unified Planning and the Value Added Tax.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Othman, the Senate's acting secretary-general, indicated that the Senate will get down to business once the president's decree on the appointed MPs is issued.

"When the Senate meets and members are sworn in, its first job will be to elect a chairman and two deputies, and these will form its internal bureau," said Othman.

Besides, said Othman, the number of the Senate's committees has yet to be decided.

"The Senate's internal bylaws, which will be drafted by its members, shall indicate how many committees the Senate will have," said Othman.

Othman also revealed that 141 senators received membership cards on Sunday.

"The senate's secretariat-general will continue receiving newly elected senators over the next few days and until the 59 remaining ones fill in papers and get their membership cards," said Othman.

Egypt's election of 200 senators was held on 9 September. President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi is expected to appoint the remaining 100 senators to the 300-member chamber.

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