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Egypt’s President ratifies Senate, House, political rights laws

CAIRO – 2 July 2020: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Thursday approved the draft laws regulating the legislative elections, the laws regulating the exercise of political rights, the laws on the Parliament, and the laws on the National Election Authority.
Political rights
The House of Representatives, headed by Ali Abdel-Aal, has finally approved in June a draft law amending some provisions of the Law Regulating the Exercise of Political Rights issued in No. 45 of 2014.
The draft law stipulates:
• Every Egyptian at the age of 18 must exercise political rights, such as expressing an opinion in every referendum stipulated in the constitution.
• In addition, every Egyptian has the right to elect the President of the Republic, members of the House of Representatives, members of the Senate, and members of local councils.
• The President of the Republic, members of the House of Representatives, members of the Senate, and members of local councils are elected per the provisions of significant laws.
• The National Elections Commission shall issue its decision on the grievances within 24 hours of the date of its submission.
• The National Elections Commission must consider the compatibility between justice, legality, and fairness in polling and counting.
National Election Authority
The Egyptian House of Representatives also in June approved an amendment to Law no. 198 of 2017 on the National Election Authority (NEA), which is in charge of supervising the electoral process in the northeastern African country.
According to the amendments, the NEA will be the only body in charge of announcing the final results of referendums and elections nationwide, within five days after it receives legal papers from the general committees. A day shall be added in the event of receiving grievances.
The NEA was established in Egypt, pursuant to the provisions of the 2014 Constitution. Article 208 stipulates that the NEA shall be an independent authority that is in charge of managing referendums and presidential, parliamentary and local elections.
The tasks of the NEA include preparing and updating databases for the electorate, suggesting constituencies, setting conditions of promotion and funding, announcing and supervising elections, and facilitating voting procedures for Egyptian expatriates.
Egypt’s House approved officially, a bill on establishing the Senate, during a general session.
The draft law submitted by MP Abdel Hadi al-Qasabi, head of Support Egypt Coalition, was approved by nearly two-thirds majority of members of Parliament, while only four MPs refused it.
According to the passed bill the Senate will be made up of 300 members, with one third to be elected through the individual system, the second third through the closed list system, and the last third to be named by the president.
According to the bill, at least 10 percent of the Senate seats should be occupied by women, and there will be 27 constituencies for the individual system, and four constituencies for the closed list system.
The draft law, specified that 27 electoral constituencies will be allocated for election in the individual system, 4 constituencies for election in the lists system in which only two of them will have up to 15 seats each and the other two will have 35 seats each.
The draft law requires that each electoral list to include number of candidates equal to the number required to be elected in the electoral district along with another number of standby candidates equal to it.
It was also explained that, each list of 15 seats, must include at least three women, and each list of 35 seats must include at least seven women.
The senator's term of office will be five years and it will start as of the first meeting of the Senate.
A Senate candidate, according to the bill, should be of Egyptian nationality and should have performed the military service and enjoy full political and civil rights and have a university degree.
The Senate will be tasked with making suggestions on how to promote democracy and social peace, as well as maintaining values and freedoms in the society.
It will also give its opinion on suggestions to amend the constitution, the draft national plan for social and economic development, and peace and alliance conventions.
The president may also seek the opinion of the Senate on issues related to the State's general policy and its Arab and foreign affairs.



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