Egypt's national dialogue board set to hold fifth meeting on 5 September

Gamal Essam El-Din , Thursday 25 Aug 2022

The 19-member Board of Trustees of the national dialogue, mandated with preparing the dialogue process, is set to resume its meetings on 5 September, according to an official statement on Wednesday night.

Egyptian National Political Dialogue's (NPD) Board of Trustees during their fourth meeting held on 3 August. (Photo courtesy of the official Facebook Page of the National Political Dialogue)

The board's General Coordinator and head of the Press Syndicate Diaa Rashwan said in the statement that the board's fifth meeting, which was scheduled for 27 August, has been postponed to 5 September.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi proposed launching the national dialogue in April to draw up a new roadmap for the country's political, social, and economic priorities in the next decade, promising to attend its final stages.

Rashwan said the fifth meeting will focus on choosing rapporteurs and assistant rapporteurs for each of the dialogue's 15 subcommittees, which will be in charge of discussing its political, social, and economic tracks.

"The meeting will also crystallise the agenda and topics that will be discussed by each committee and set the date of each meeting," Rashwan added.

MP Amira Saber, a member of the board, said in a press interview on Wednesday that "the board's fifth meeting will focus on reviewing the names of public figures nominated by political forces participating in the dialogue to join the political, social, and economic subcommittees."

"A large number of political parties and forces have already sent the names of their nominees and it will be up for the Board of Trustees to choose more than 30 members in each subcommittee," said Saber.

Negad El-Borai, a member of the board and human rights activist, said the meeting was put off because some members of the board were ill and others were abroad.

"The fifth meeting is very important. It will put the final touches necessary for the national dialogue meetings to at last kick off," said El-Borai.

Mahmoud Fawzi, secretary-general of the national dialogue, said that when the next meeting convenes the board will have completed the selection of committee members and set the priorities for discussions on the political, economic, and social tracks.

The political subcommittees, said Fawzi, will coordinate discussions on the exercise of political rights, parliamentary representation and political parties; local councils; and human rights and public liberties.

"As for the social subcommittees, they will discuss education; health; family and social cohesion; culture and national identity," said Fawzi, adding that "the economic track subcommittees will discuss inflation and high prices; public debt, the budget deficit and fiscal reform; general investment priorities and state ownership; private investment (local and foreign); industry; agriculture and food security; and social justice."

Following the fourth meeting, held on 3 August, the board announced the formation of seven subcommittees for the dialogue’s economic track, which are Inflation and Price Increases; Public Debt, Deficit Spending, and Financial Reformation; Public Investment Priorities and State Ownership Politics; Private Investment (local and global); Industry and Production; Agricultural and Food Safety; and Social Justice.

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