Egypt's National Dialogue to kick off on 3 May as planned

Gamal Essam El-Din , Thursday 13 Apr 2023

Egypt's National Dialogue, a proposed initiative by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, will proceed as scheduled on 3 May, according to the dialogue's Secretary-General Mahmoud Fawzi.

Mahmoud Fawzi
National Dialogue Secretary-General Mahmoud Fawzi. Official Facebook page National Dialogue


Fawzi stated that Diaa Rashwan, the National Dialogue's general coordinator, will hold a press conference a few days before 3 May to announce the complete details of the dialogue's sessions and answer questions about related arrangements.

In an interview with Extra News TV channel on Wednesday night, Fawzi said "the dialogue will consist of sessions held at least three times a week, one day for the political track, one for the economic track and one for the social track.”

The 19-member Board of Trustees will determine the topics and finalise the timetables of debates that will take place in each dialogue session, he added.

Attendees include representatives from 85 political parties, 25 professional syndicates, trade unions, NGOs, public figures, experts and government officials.

The Board of Trustees has also invited 16 public figures, including politicians, intellectuals, human rights activists, film stars and academics, to join the dialogue's specialised committees.

Fawzi indicated that participants will be chosen ahead of the debate and that rapporteurs and assistant rapporteurs would be in charge of running the debates and ensuring that all abide by the procedural rules and codes of conduct.

He also noted that most participating forces have already chosen their representatives and that the Board of Trustees and General Coordinator Rashwan are keen to see the largest possible number of political forces participate in the process.

However, forces that have been convicted of committing acts of violence and terrorism or have blood on their hands are prohibited from joining the dialogue.

Fawzi confirmed that most political forces welcomed the holding of the dialogue.

Egypt's National Dialogue was proposed last year by President El-Sisi to crystallise new political, economic and social priorities for the country.

Fawzi also recalled that the Board of Trustees had proposed an amendment to the law regulating the performance of the National Election Authority (NEA) to extend its mandate. Currently, the NEA's mandate is due to expire on 17 January, 2024.

“Such an extension will require a legislative amendment, which will be discussed and voted on by parliament, to ensure that the upcoming presidential elections – scheduled for May 2024 – will be held under full judicial supervision,” he said.

President El-Sisi has instructed the government to review the proposed amendment to Article 34 of the NEA Law 198/2017, which calls for full judicial supervision or "a judge for each voting box" in all elections (presidential, parliamentary and municipal) and referendums.

According to Fawzi, the NEA, which was established by Egypt's 2014 constitution to oversee all elections and referendums, must act independently.

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