Shura Council delays discussion of election law until Wednesday

Ahram Online, Monday 14 Jan 2013

Discussions on amendments to parliamentary election law postponed until Wednesday to allow committees more time to prepare

Shura Council
Shura Council's headquarters (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament, on Sunday postponed until Wednesday discussion of a report made by the legislative affairs committee concerning amendments to the parliamentary election law.

The Shura Council has been responsible for drafting critical legislation since the lower house of parliament was dissolved last summer.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic website, Shura Council Chairman Ahmed Fahmy said discussion of amendments to election legislation was postponed to allow various council committees, the legislative affairs committee in particular, more time to prepare.

Tarek El-Sahary served as acting deputy speaker during Sunday's session as Fahmy had travelled to Tunisia on Sunday morning.

Of the Shura Council's eleven committees, the culture, tourism and media committee, the health committee, the human rights committee and education committee have also held meetings recently to discuss reforms.

With Article 62 of the new constitution calling for illiteracy to be eradicated within the next ten years, the committee responsible for literacy and adult education recently called for a new ministry to be established to work towards to this goal. 

During Sunday's meeting Shura Council representatives also reached a preliminary agreement on amendments to some of the articles regulating the council. Disagreements arose in the council over whether the council's bylaws should be changed to harmonise them with the new constitution, particularly regarding the implementation of Article 230, which declares that "the existing Shura Council shall assume full legislative authority until the new House of Representatives is formed. Full legislative authority will then be transferred to the House of Representatives, until the election of a new Shura Council, which shall occur within six months from the start of the House of Representatives’ session."


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