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Egypt's new House of Representatives to hold opening procedural session Tuesday

The newly-elected MPs will take the constitutional oath, elect a speaker and two deputies, amid strict anti-coronavirus measures

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 12 Jan 2021
Parliament
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Egypt's newly-elected MPs will hold an opening procedural session of the new House of Representatives on Tuesday to take the constitutional oath and elect a speaker and two deputies.

MPs will also meet in two plenary sessions on Wednesday and Thursday to elect the leading posts of parliament's 25 committees.

The opening session of the new the House of Representatives will be chaired by media expert and prominent journalist Fardia El-Shobashy, as the eldest member in the House.

El-Shobashy will be aided by two deputies, MPs Fatma Ahmed and Abanoub Ezzat, as the two youngest members of the House.

El-Shobashy said it is the first time that a woman chairs an opening parliamentary session in Egypt.

"It is a big honour for me and for all women in Egypt and it shows that women are playing a greater political role in Egypt now," said El-Shobashy.

The new parliament will have a record number of 147 women (26 per cent).

El-Shobashy will read out President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi's decree on 6 January, asking newly-elected MPs to hold an opening procedural session to take the constitutional oath and elect a speaker and two deputies.

She will also read decrees on the results of Egypt's parliamentary elections, held between 21 October and 8 December 2020, and naming 28 appointees in the new parliament.

The next step is that a number of 284 MPs, including those elected via the individual candidacy system, will be asked to enter the meeting hall at 11am to take the oath.

Another batch of 284 MPs plus 28 appointed deputies will have to enter the meeting hall at 2pm to take the oath.

Once MPs finish this business, they will have to leave the meeting hall, which will be sanitized.

According to Article 104 of the constitution, each newly-elected MP should take the oath as follows: "I swear by almighty God to honestly preserve the republican system, respect the constitution and the law and that fully observe the interests of the people, and preserve the homeland's independence, unity and the integrity of its land."

The final step in the opening session will be all MPs gather again in the meeting hall to elect a speaker and two deputies.

Ali Abdel-Aal, the speaker of the outgoing 2015-2020 parliament, is expected to be re-elected for another five years.

Three MPs are expected to run for the post of deputy speaker.

Mostafa Bakri, a Mostaqbal Watan MP and a journalist, said Sunday that he decided to run for the post of deputy speaker.

Ahmed Saad El-Din, parliament's former secretary-general, and Soliman Wahdan, a member of the opposition Wafd party, are also expected to run for the post of deputy speaker.

Parliament's Secretary-General Mahmoud Fawzi said the House's opening procedural session on Tuesday will be held amid severe anti-coronavirus measures.

"All MPs will have to wear face masks, use sanitisers and observe social distancing," said Fawzi, also revealing that "Tuesday's opening session will be aired live on state TV."

Once elected, Abdel-Aal will deliver a speech outlining the roles of the new parliament in the coming stage.

A number of MPs representing political parties and independents are also expected to take the floor to address MPs.

On Wednesday, another procedural session will be held to open the door for MPs who wish to run for the leading posts of the House's 25 committees. Each MP will also have to elect a chairman, two deputies and one secretary-general for each committee.

On Thursday, MPs will meet to take note of the final lists of members of each committee.

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