EPW Week in Brief – June 19-June 26, 2019

06/27/2019 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • News website Mada Masr, citing anonymous parliamentary sources, reported that the draft law to establish a Supreme Council for Judicial Entities was scrapped due to a disagreement between Speaker of the House Ali Abdel ‘Al and Justice Minister Muhammad Hossam Ahmed. The two officials disagreed on the role of the ministry on the proposed council.
  • After the death of former president Muhammad Morsi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke critically about Morsi’s death and the conditions of his detention. Several representatives and political parties released statements condemning Erdogan’s comments.
  • A parliamentary delegation led by officials in the Free Egyptians Party traveled to France to meet with members of the French National Assembly and the French cabinet to discuss security issues and bilateral relations.

Notable Developments

House Delays Discussions on Judicial Entities Bill:

Anonymous parliamentary sources speaking to Mada Masr revealed that the draft law to establish the Supreme Council for Judicial Entities, the last in a set of three bills referred to the House regarding judicial authority, had been scrapped. The bill was dropped because of a dispute between Speaker of the House Ali Abdel ‘Al and Justice Minister Muhammad Hossam Ahmed over the proposed role of the Ministry of Justice on the council. Ahmed called for the ministry to participate in the proposed council, while the draft—which had been approved by the cabinet—did not include an official from the justice ministry on the proposed council. Abdel ‘Al refused to amend the bill. The same parliamentary sources said that the bill is expected to be reintroduced when the House convenes for its next legislative session in October.

Representatives Criticize Erdogan’s Remarks about Morsi:

Following the death of former Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Egyptian authorities for hastily burying Morsi’s body and questioned the circumstances surrounding Morsi’s death. Several parliamentary officials dismissed Erdogan’s comments, describing his remarks as “interfering” in Egyptian internal affairs. Political parties including the Coalition in Support of Egypt, Nation’s Future, and the Wafd all released statements rejecting Erdogan’s comments as an attempt by Erdogan to mask problems within Turkey.

Parliamentary Delegation Travels to France:

Free Egyptians Party Parliamentary Chairman Ayman Abul Alaa led a parliamentary delegation to France to meet with officials in the French National Assembly to improve parliamentary relations. The delegation attended an open session of the French legislature, convened with representatives from the French Budget and Defense Committees, and met with officials from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs.

Other Developments

In Legislation:

The House agreed in principle to the amendments to the Civil Service Law on June 22 and subsequently approved the amendments in their entirety two days later. The amendments grant all public employees bonuses between seven and 10 percent of their salaries.

Following review by the Budget Committee, the House approved the government’s proposed budget for the 2019–20 fiscal year, amounting to LE1.575 trillion.

In Session:

The Suggestions and Complaints Committee approved requests to build several schools in Cairo, Sohag, and Alexandria.

A delegation from the Local Administration Committee visited Beheira June 26 to assess construction on a water station in the region.

In News and Statements:

Abdel ‘Al traveled to Djibouti on June 26 to meet with Djiboutian Prime Minister Abdel Kader Kamal Muhammad to discuss counter-terrorism, economic cooperation, and political relations between the two countries.

Representative Hossam al-Omda of the Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the Justice and Development Party’s loss in the Istanbul elections represented Turkish citizens rejecting Erdogan’s economic agenda and foreign policy initiatives.

Wafd Party Chairman Bahaa Abu Shoqa stated that the opening ceremonies of the African Cup of Nations highlighted Egypt’s tourism opportunities.

Abdel ‘Al hosted Tanzanian National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai June 22 to discuss political and economic cooperation.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Karim Darwish hosted Colombian Ambassador to Egypt Ana Milena Munoz de Gaviria on June 19 to discuss bilateral relations.

Abdel ‘Al and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Karim Darwish met separately with Serbian National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic on June 23 and 24 to discuss counter-terrorism, bilateral relations, and Turkey’s alleged role as a facilitator of terrorism.

Representative Tariq al-Khouli of the Foreign Affairs Committee hosted Russian embassy official Nikolai Layagoushin June 19 to discuss bilateral relations and joint cooperation on regional issues.

Deputy Speaker of the House Soleiman Wahdan praised the Ministry of Interior for arresting individuals associated with the “Hope Plan” initiative.

Looking Ahead

  • The House will reconvene in plenary session July 7.
  • The Media Committee will conduct a delegation visit Thursday and Friday to Fayoum to inspect antiquity sites.
  • Abdel ‘Al will travel to Russia between June 30 and July 4 to meet with public officials, though his agenda has yet to be announced.