Week in Brief – June 10, 2018 – June 16, 2018

06/18/2018 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi appointed his new cabinet following the collective resignation of its members last week, prompting a range of reactions by members of the House of Representatives. Representatives congratulated the cabinet, which includes 12 new ministers, on their positions, while also hailing the diversity of the body and its members. Other representatives stressed specific agendas or issues for the new cabinet to prioritize.
  • Representatives united in their support of Egypt’s first World Cup appearance since 1990; several representatives coordinated with cabinet ministries to provide display screens in certain districts to allow Egyptians to watch the first match against Uruguay. In related news, reports of representatives using government funds to travel to Russia for the games were denied by ranking officials within the legislature.

Notable Developments

New Cabinet Draws Representatives’ Praise:

Sisi installed his new cabinet, which included 12 new ministers out of the 32 available ministerial positions. Among the 12 replacements were new Minister of the Interior Mahmoud Tawfiq and new Minister of Defense Muhammad Ahmed Zaki. Representatives in the House lauded the appointments as symbolic of the peaceful transition of power as well as for the diversity of the new cabinet, which now includes eight female ministers. Other representatives used the appointments as an opportunity to appeal to the new ministers to prioritize specific issues. Parliamentary Spokesman Salah Hassiballah congratulated the new cabinet members on their positions, while calling upon them to prioritize the culture, education, and health sectors as previously mentioned by Sisi during his inauguration speech before the legislature (see the Looking Ahead section for more on the constitutional mandate regarding the new cabinet.

Representatives Support Egypt Leading Up to the World Cup:

Ahead of Egypt’s first World Cup appearance since 1990, several representatives promoted the hashtag “Viewing for All” to encourage Egyptians to support the national team competing in Russia. Other representatives, notably Jon Talaat, coordinated with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of the Interior to display screens in prominent locations in their respective districts to allow citizens to watch Egypt’s first match against Uruguay. In related news, some parliamentarians traveled to Russia to support the team in person, though rumors surfaced of representatives using government funds to pay for their travel accommodations. Parliamentary Spokesman Salah Hassiballah denied this, stating that representatives who went to Russia paid for their own expenses.

Other Developments

In Legislation:

The Agriculture Committee approved amendments to the Water Resources Law after previously agreeing to them in principle on February 13. This bill would consolidate the government’s authority over the Nile River.

In Session:

The Energy Committee recommended the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the Ministry of Petroleum’s internal process of transfers and promotions as they pertain to private companies.

The Suggestions and Complaints Committee approved a proposal by committee member Bassam Felayfil to provide 20 beds to the emergency hospital in Mansoura.

Representative Rabia Abu Lettia of the Agriculture Committee submitted a request to the Ministry of Agriculture to form a committee to investigate medical concerns surrounding livestock.

Representative Muhammad Saad Temaraz of the Agriculture Committee submitted a briefing request to Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli along with the Ministries of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Finance to further investigate the negative impact of field irrigation on farmers, especially in the Nile Delta.

Representative Abul Maata Mustafa of the Constitutional Affairs Committee submitted a briefing request to Speaker of the House Ali Abdel ‘Al to follow up with the Ministry of Religious Endowmentson the completion of the oncology hospital in Kafr al-Battikh in Damietta.

Representative Mustafa al-Talkhawi of the Suggestions and Complaints Committee submitted a proposal to construct a police station in Dekheila, Alexandria, based on the increase in housing projects in the area and the need to increase security around those projects.

The Arab Affairs Committee issued a statement calling for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing violence and instability in Libya. The committee expressed its support for previous summit meetings in Paris, while also calling on the United Nations to continue their peace-building efforts in the country.

In News and Statements:

Constitutional Affairs Committee Chairman Bahaa Abu Shoqa stated that there is a growing movement in the legislature calling to extend the third session until July 15; Parliament is set to conclude its session on June 30.

Wafd Party Chairman Bahaa Abu Shoqa stated that over 3,000 individuals have joined the party as new members since he assumed the chairmanship position of the organization.

The 25-30 Bloc announced its rejection of the three media laws passed last week based on the constitutional discrepancies the party perceives to be present in each bill. The bloc also cited government overreach regulating the media in their rejection of the three bills.

Looking Ahead

  • New Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli will present the cabinet’s agenda to the House in general session on June 23. Per Article 146 of the constitution, the House will conduct a vote of confidence on Madbouli’s agenda, and the legislature’s vote must be issued within 30 days of Madbouli’s statement.
  • The Energy Committee will hold a meeting with Electricity Minister Muhammad Shaker next week to discuss the increase in electricity prices; committee member al-Sayyid Hegazi expressed his concern over the ministry’s unilateral decision to increase prices without consulting parliament.
  • The House will reconvene in general session on Saturday, June 23.