Future of Egypt's Shura Council to be finalised Tuesday

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Sep 2012

Egypt's constituent assembly to establish role of Shura Council (upper house of parliament), created by former president Sadat, under new constitution on Tuesday

Future of Shura Council
The constituent assembly tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution meets Saturday at the Shura Council building in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 23, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's constituent assembly will on Tuesday finalise the status and function of the Shura Council (upper house of parliament) under the new constitution.

Mohamed Tosson, head of the legislative and constitutional affairs committee at the Shura Council, will put forward reasons why the council should not be abolished under the new constitution as some analysts have suggested.

Critics have long said the Shura Council was a waste of money established by President Sadat to help him control the media.

The Shura Council was created by President Sadat and has long been criticised as waste of money.

Ahmed Fahmy, head of Shura Council, will also be attending Tuesday's session.

Earlier on Monday, Human rights activist Manal El-Tibi announced her withdrawal from Egypt's constitution-drafting assembly due to alleged intimidation by Islamist members. 

The beleaguered constituent assembly has already suffered a number of withdrawals since 11 June, when the 'Egyptian Bloc' parties – including the Free Egyptians, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the leftist Tagammu Party – initiated a walk-out, followed by the Karama Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party and the Democratic Front Party, to allow greater representation for women, young people and Coptic Christians, while also registering their objection to "Islamist monopolisation" of the assembly.

Meanwhile, the troubled assembly still faces the risk of dissolution by court order in October on grounds that it was drawn up by the People's Assembly, the since-dissolved lower house of Egypt's parliament.

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