Reviewing new Cabinet’s program on top of Parliament’s priority list

Egypt Today
Fecha de publicación: 
18 Jun 2018

CAIRO – 17 June 2018: The Parliament will review a number of topics following Eid Al-Fitr holiday, with the program of the new Cabinet headed by PM Mostafa Madbouly on top of the list. The program is set to be introduced to the Parliament in the upcoming sessions. 

Eid al-Fitr is an important Islamic feast that follows the holy fasting month of Ramadan. 

Cabinet’s program 

According to the Egyptian constitution, Madbouly has to make a statement before the Parliament, revealing the names of the ministers, and the Cabinet’s program. The Parliament will subsequently discuss Madbouly’s statement, according to law. 

The Parliament then will assign a special committee with issuing a report on Madbouly’s statement. The report will be consequently reviewed by the Parliament in a plenary session. 

In order for the new Cabinet to gain the Parliament’s trust, the majority (around 300) of Parliament members have to vote in favor of it. The pro-government “Egypt Support” Parliamentary coalition holds around 400 of 597 seats in Parliament. 

If the new Cabinet does not gain the trust of the majority of Parliament members, President Sisi would then order a new prime minister nominated by the coalition or the party that holds the majority of seats in the Parliament, to choose new ministries, according to the constitution. 

If his new Cabinet is not approved by the Parliament within 30 days, the Parliament will be declared dissolved. President Sisi will then call for a Parliamentary election within two months. The new prime minister will then review the ministers’ names and Cabinet’s program before the new Parliament in its first session. 

Once the new Parliament’s majority bloc approves the new Cabinet, the president will choose, in cooperation with the prime minister, the ministers of defense, interior, foreign affairs and justice. 

Earlier in June, president Sisi ordered Madbouly to form a new government to succeed that of Sherif Ismail, who resigned on June 5. 

Local Administration law 

In the upcoming sessions, the Parliament is also expected to discuss a Local Administration draft law, which is set to allow the first local polls in a decade to be held. 

The Parliament speaker Ali Abdel Aal said that the Parliament’s Local Administration Committee has finished discussing a draft law for the local administration, adding that the draft law will be discussed [by the Parliament] soon, and local elections will be held before the end of 2018. 

The four-year term local council members are responsible for monitoring service facilities and following up on governmental plans carried out across Egypt’s governorates. 

The former local councils, formed after 2008 polls, were dissolved in 2011 following the popular uprising that ended the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak. Government-appointed officials have run local affairs without council oversight since then. 

Former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told Parliament in March 2016 that the local elections were scheduled for the first quarter of 2017, but they did not take place. 

"The current immense corruption that exists due to the absence of local councils affirms the need to hold local polls, which is a constitutional right," MP Abdel-Hamid Kamal of the Local Administration Committee said earlier. 

Criminal procedures law 

The spokesman for the Parliament Salah Hassaballah has earlier mentioned some of the key topics that will be on the table for the next period, most notably the draft law regulating criminal procedures.

In May, Hasaballah said that the Parliament looks forward to finalizing the draft law regulating criminal procedures as soon as possible following 24 meetings held to discuss it. The meetings included listening to representatives of the General Prosecution, Justice Ministry and Lawyers Syndicate, in addition to constitutional law professors. 

Reconciliation in building violations 

A draft law on reconciliation in some building violations, which had earlier discussed by the Parliament’s housing committee, needs to be announced in the next period. 

The draft law comes within the framework of legal and practical solutions to the problem of building violations, recently causing collapsing buildings, to combat the cases of building violations. 

The draft law stipulates reconciliation in the acts committed in violating the law governing the building, including the case of change of use of the building. 

The draft law aims to preserve and protect architectural and archaeological heritage and organize measures of reconciliation. 

Under the draft law, building violations could be reconciled with exception for acts that violate construction safety and facilities of distinctive architectural styles. Infringements include the approved regulatory lines and the statutory heights rights as well as building on state owned land and agricultural land or land subjected to the law on the Protection of Antiquities. 

To consider the reconciliation request and issue a decision in this regard, a technical committee shall be formed in each concerned administrative authority, and be led by civil and architectural engineers, who are accredited at the administrative authority, along with a representative from the Interior Ministry. 

Unified construction law 

On the other hand, a law that addresses those who violate the license and build illegal constructions by imposing fines, prison sentences or higher utilities tariffs. 

The Egyptian Parliament has discussed the unified construction law No. 119 during a meeting held on July 18, 2016 to submit amendments to the law. 

Besides the illegal constructions, Egypt is plagued by unplanned construction and poor infrastructure. There are 400 areas of unplanned housing, with a population in excess of 7 million.

Parliament’s achievements in current session 

In late May, the Parliament asserted it has endorsed 32 international agreements signed by the president or the prime minister, since the start of its third regular session on October 3, 2017. 

In a press conference, Hasaballah said that the Parliament has endorsed 111 draft laws, and discussed 385 information requests from Parliament members to former Prime Minister Ismail. 

"The Parliament also discussed 303 urgent statements during the third session, and posed 45 questions to the government," Hasaballah said, adding that the Proposals and Complaints Committee in the Parliament has finished discussing 551 suggestions. 

The bills, draft laws and agreements aimed to upgrade the different sectors in Egypt and improve the lives of citizens. Among the top sectors addressed during the past few months since October are: health care, supporting workers and youth rights, countering corruption and easing investment measures, Hasaballah said.