The Shura Council (Photo: AL-Ahram)
The late President Anwar al-Sadat created the upper house of parliament, known as the Shura Council, in 1980.
Law 120 defines the powers of that council, as well as the manner of selecting its members.
Although the role of the Shura Council is mainly advisory (shura means “consultation” in Arabic), the council is expected to prepare studies, concerning issues of national concern. The council is also tasked with examining and revising government bills ahead of submission to the People’s Assembly, the parliament’s lower house.
In the 1980s, this law was amended to allow members of the council to be elected through a system of proportional representation based on party lists, rather than single-winner races.
In 1990, the law was amended once more to reinstate the single-seat, winner-takes-all electoral system.
On 23 July 2011, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) amended the Shura Council law yet again, lowering the age requirement for candidates from thirty to twenty-five years.
Of the 270 Shura Council members, 90 will be appointed by the president, 60 will be elected through single-winner races, and 120 through party lists.
.Each party list must include at least one woman and should win at least half a percentage point of nationwide valid votes.
According to the law, disputes concerning candidacy bids will be referred to the Supreme Administrative Court, while disputes concerning electoral results will be examined by the Higher Court of Appeals (also known as the Court of Cassation).