EPW Week in Brief – April 18-24, 2019

04/25/2019 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • Leading up to the referendum for the proposed constitutional amendments, political parties and representatives continued to engage in promotional campaigns to encourage citizens to participate in the vote and to support the amendments.
  • Referendum results were announced on April 23 with 88.8 percent of voters approving the proposal according to government tallies. Representatives subsequently praised citizens for approving the amendments, describing the vote as a commitment to state stability and combating terrorism.

Notable Developments

Representatives Praise Referendum Results Following Approval:

The National Elections Authority (NEA) scheduled the constitutional amendments referendum for April 19–21 for Egyptian expatriates and April 20–22 for domestic residents. Prior to the referendum, political parties and members of the House of Representatives continued their promotional endeavors to encourage citizens to participate in the referendum and vote in favor of the amendments. The Nour Party, who changed their stance on the amendments during last week’s plenary session to support the initiative, encouraged citizens to approve the package based on the various state institution reforms in the amendments. Similarly, Coalition in Support of Egypt Secretary General Ahmed al-Sageeni stated that representatives in the bloc were instructed to promote the referendum to constituents through grassroots measures.

On April 23, the NEA announced the results of the referendum, reporting that 88.8 percent of voters approved the amendments, 11.1 percent rejected the proposal, and 44 percent of eligible voters participated. Parliamentary officials commended the results of the referendum, as Deputy Speaker of the House Soleiman Wahdan and Coalition in Support of Egypt Chairman Abdel Hadi al-Qasbi echoed similar sentiments, saying that the results of the referendum indicated Egyptians’ commitment to developing the Egyptian state and stabilizing the country. Similarly, Human Rights Committee Chairman Alaa Abed described the referendum as the “death of terrorism.”

Other Developments

In Legislation:

As the House did not convene in plenary session during the past week, no legislation was approved by parliament.

In Session:

The Economic Affairs Committee approved the draft budget for the Ministry of Supply for the 2019–20 fiscal year.

Media Committee Chairman Osama Heikal is preparing a report summarizing the committee’s field visit to Luxor last week for an event commemorating World Heritage Day.

In News and Statements:

Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel ‘Al expressed his condolences to the victims and effected individuals from the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka.

Similarly, the Religious Affairs Committee issued a statement condemning Sunday’s terrorist attack in Sri Lanka and expressing condolences for victims of the attack.

Abdel ‘Al hosted French Senator Damien Regnard April 21 to discuss bilateral relations and education and health issues.

Abdel ’Al also hosted Cypriot Speaker of the House Demetris Syllouris on April 21 in a separate meeting to discuss bilateral relations and joint cooperation in energy development and tourism.

Looking Ahead

  • The Tagammu Party will conduct internal elections for party leadership during a meeting later this week.
  • The House of Representatives will reconvene in plenary session on May 12
    The House will reconvene in plenary session on May 12.