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Egypt's parliament to summon prime minister to answer questions on 'Egypt Kicks Off' programme

Parliament said the implementation of the programme fell short of expectations and is full of shortcomings and negative points

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 17 Jan 2021
File Photo: Egypt's House of Representatives. Al-Ahram

The Egyptian parliament's general committee decided on Sunday to summon Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and a number of cabinet ministers to answer questions and discuss a report on the implementation of the so-called “Egypt Kicks Off” programme.

The general committee, led by Speaker Hanafi El-Gebaly, recalled that in July 2018, Madbouly’s government delivered its policy statement before parliament, vowing to implement the “Egypt Kicks Off” programme.

“This programme opened the door for the government to win the confidence of parliament, but after two years, the committee notes that the implementation of the programme fell short of expectations and is full of shortcomings and negative points,” said the committee.

The general committee indicated that the summoning of Madbouly goes in line with Article 136 of the constitution and articles 26 and 27 of the parliament's internal bylaws.

“In its review of the “Egypt Kicks Off” programme between July 2018 and June 2020 and how much the government is committed to implementing it, the committee noted that there are many shortcomings and negative points, and so it recommends that the prime minister and other concerned cabinet ministers be summoned to attend a number of sessions to answer questions on the progress of the implementation of the programme.”

In July 2018, Madbouly vowed that the government would reinforce Egypt's national security, implement intensive social protection programmes, boost economic development, raise productivity rates, and improve the standard of living of poor citizens. Madbouly added that “we decided that ‘Egypt Kicks Off’ will be the slogan of coming stage.”

Madbouly said “We will create a job for every poor citizen as long as he is able to work; if he is living below the poverty line and it's hard for him to work, we will do our best to care for him.”

Two years later, however, many MPs believe that the government has not done enough to implement necessary social protection programmes to help the poor.

The general committee noted that the country's newly elected parliament has a big responsibility to be up to the expectations of the Egyptian people. “So, the new parliament will be keen in the next period to effectively play its role because we believe that the Egyptian people should be the focus of the interests of all state institutions, including parliament,” said the committee, adding that “parliament will use all supervisory and legislative tools at its disposal to achieve its objectives in the coming period.”

The parliament's general committee is chaired by speaker Hanafi El-Gebaly and includes the house's two deputy speakers, chairmen of 25 parliamentary committees, representatives of political parties — which each has more than ten seats — and coalitions, and five selected MPs (Diaaeddin Dawoud, Ahmed Abaza, Ahmed Khalil, Faridi El-Biadi, and Amr Younis). The minister of parliamentary affairs has the right to attend the committee's meetings, which is in line with article 26 of the house's internal bylaws.

Parliament speaker Hanafi El-Gebaly met with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on 14 January to discuss mutual cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities in the coming period. Following the meeting, Madbouly said he has given directives to all cabinet ministers to attend parliamentary sessions and answer the questions of MPs on all issues related to their portfolios.  

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