Members of the Board of Trustees in a debate during the the first session of the National Dialogue on 4 July, 2022. Photo courtesy of Facebook page of the National Dialogue.
Al-Ahram political researcher and member of the board Amr Hashem Rabie revealed in a press interview on Thursday that the next meeting of the dialogue's board of trustees will be held next Tuesday (19 July) to discuss the dialogue's schedule of debates, the agenda and the formation of committee.
"The dialogue will be divided into three main committees mandated with discussing political, economic and social issues, and sub-committees can also be formed whenever necessary to discuss subsidiary issues related to the main ones," said Rabie, adding that "the 19 July meeting could also name the members of the three main committees."
The first meeting of the national dialogue's board of trustees, which was held on 5 July, wrapped up with endorsing the dialogue's code of conduct and internal bylaws.
The 25-article code of conduct is divided into three parts, the first of which tackles the dialogue's general ethical rules, the second covers the rights and obligations of participants in the national dialogue, while the third regulates the rules of speech.
In general, the code states that the objective of Egypt's national dialogue is to introduce reforms and set the priorities of Egypt in the coming stage.
"The success of the dialogue is the responsibility of all participants and to achieve this goal all participants should refrain from turning the dialogue into a forum for scoring goals or settling personal and partisan accounts," said the code, adding that "the primary job of participants is to find common ground among themselves as well as observe objectivity, transparency and neutrality throughout the debates."
The code also states that in their coverage of the event, all media outlets should be keen on publishing and broadcasting all points of view expressed during the dialogue's debates.
As for the second part, the code states that participants who will take the floor should voice their viewpoints in a clear and concise way (not exceeding 10 minutes) while observing the dignity of the country's constitutional institutions.
"Each participant should also submit viewpoints in print to the dialogue's secretariat-general in order to be recorded in the state's national archives for the coming generations," said the code.
Article 5 of the second part states that participants should refrain from using any "insults or bad words" or engaging in any kind of badmouthing or discussing any issues outside the context of the debate, and in such a case the session's chairperson will intervene to exclude persons who commit such violations.
The code's third part gives the session's chairperson the right to interrupt speakers, impose discipline, and stop the debate if he/she finds that the rules of debate are being violated.
As for the dialogue's 19-article internal bylaws, they state that members of the dialogue's board of trustees are doing a voluntary job and that they shall not obtain any money or in-kind incentives in return, and that if any member opted to leave his post, the general coordinator would conduct the necessary consultations to choose another one to fill this post.
The by-laws also state that the board will have the right to seek the advice of experts or specialists on certain issues, without these having any voting rights.
The bylaws also state that all the national dialogue's sessions will be made public, with journalists and media people are allowed to attend, unless the board of trustees decides otherwise.
Article 14 states that the meetings of the dialogue's board of trustees are closed-door ones and that members are the only ones allowed to attend these meetings. "In some cases, however, the board can decide that its meetings are aired live or recorded," said article 14.
On 26 April, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for a national dialogue to draw up a new political roadmap for Egypt in the coming years. The dialogue's 19-member board of trustees held its first meeting on 5 July to prepare the agenda and timetable schedule of the dialogue.