National Dialogue proposes major legislative political, economic & social reforms in Egypt

Gamal Essam El-Din , Friday 18 Aug 2023

Egypt's National Dialogue recently finished a first set of suggestions for reforms in political, economic, and social spheres after having a round of open sessions over the previous three months.

Diaa Rashwan
A file photo of Egypt s National Dialogue Coordinator Diaa Rashwan. Photo: National Dialogue

 

The recommendations were submitted to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi who promised promised on Wednesday that they would be referred to the House of Representatives and state authorities to be implemented in the form of legislation or executive measures.

In political terms
 

The creation of a new local councils law will be at the top of the list for political reform legislation, according to Diaa Rashwan, general coordinator of the National Dialogue.

"The recommendation by the majority of the participants in the dialogue is that the new legislation should grant as much power as possible to elected local councils in terms of their having the right to oversee the performance of local governors and heads of executive local councils," said Rashwan, adding that "the legislation should also ensure the independence of elected local councils in terms of performance and budget."

Rashwan stated that the majority of participants wanted to combine the closed system and the open proportional lists to elect local council members, with the first system electing 75 percent of members and the second 25 percent.

He also indicated that the Board of Trustees of the National Dialogue would consider changing the 2014 statute on the exercise of political rights to allow for more rights in terms of voting, campaigning, and media coverage.

"Besides, many want the laws regulating the performance of the House of Representatives and the Senate to be amended to allow the use of any of three election systems: the closed party-list system, the open proportional list system or a mixed between the closed and open list system with individual candidacy," said Rashwan. He further pointed out that the majority also wants the new laws to increase the number of senators and representatives to reflect Egypt's recent demographic growth.

Rashwan added that the conversation advises creating an anti-discrimination commission through the creation of a new statute.

"There is also a recommendation that amendments be introduced to the civil work law to give greater freedoms to NGOs and that a new unified law on cooperatives is passed by the House and the Senate," he said.

In social and economic terms
 

The key suggestion in terms of social policy is to create a new personal affairs law to address a variety of issues relating to child custody, marriage, and divorce, including money guardianship.

The requirement of changing the investment law to provide additional incentives to investors and enhance the investment climate is the main recommendation in economic terms.

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