EPW Week in Brief – June 6-June 11, 2019

06/12/2019 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • The House of Representatives approved a series of amendments to laws governing several judicial entities. The legislation brings the laws in line with amendments to the Egyptian Constitution approved earlier this year. Among other changes, the amendments allow the president to appoint the heads of seven different judicial bodies.

Notable Developments

House Approves Amendments Concerning Judicial Authority:

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved a bill amending the various laws governing the Administrative Prosecution, State Lawsuits Authority, Military Judicial Authority, Court of Cassation, the public prosecution, and State Council in their entirety after agreeing upon them in principle Sunday. The House also approved a separate bill amending the Supreme Constitutional Court Law in its entirety after agreeing in principle on Sunday. The two bills would allow the president to appoint the heads of the aforementioned judicial institutions from a select group of deputy officials in each judicial body, which brings the existing legislation into accordance with the constitutional amendments ratified in April. The bills now await ratification by President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi and publication in the Official Gazette.

Other Developments

In Legislation:

The House approved amendments to the Investment Law regulations. The amendments are designed to ensure that businesses established between 2011 and 2014 abide by current legislative policies.

The House approved amendments to the Combating Drugs Law. The law punishes individuals with the death penalty if they are found guilty of distributing illegal narcotics as defined by the government.

The House approved a new Salary and Pension Law, which raises the minimum monthly pension for public officials from 750 Egyptian pounds (LE) to LE900 in addition to increasing monthly salaries for public employees by 10 percent.

The House approved the Financial Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation Law. The law establishes a financial body under the jurisdiction of the cabinet to promote scientific development and technological advances.

In Session:

The Constitutional Affairs Committee rejected a request to lift the immunity of Representative Mortada Mansour on charges of libel and slander.

The House similarly refused to lift the parliamentary immunity of Representative Rida Naseef after a request submitted by the prosecutor-general.  The request stems from a 2018 legal case in which Naseef was charged with assaulting a citizen.

The Transportation Committee discussed a briefing request from Representative Ali Fathi Asasa concerning a closed train station in Daqhalia.

The Budget Committee approved the proposed budget for the House of Representatives for the upcoming fiscal year, which amounts to LE1.551 billion.

Suggestions and Complaints Committee Chairman Hemam al-Adali submitted a proposal to review the voter rolls in each governorate and verify any discrepancies on the lists.

The Energy Committee voted to conduct a comprehensive organizational and financial study of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, which is owned by the Egyptian state.

In News and Statements:

The Defense Committee and the leadership of the Foreign Affairs Committee hosted a parliamentary delegation from the Czech Republic to discuss bilateral relations.

Abdel ‘Al congratulated Representative Marion Azer on being selected as the first Egyptian speaker of the International Rotary Conference.

Human Rights Committee Chairman Alaa Abed stated that he will file a legal complaint against Qatar after Qatar announced it had detained two Egyptian citizens. Abed stated that their detention violates multiple human rights, and he will raise Qatari human rights violations during the United Nations Human Rights Council plenary session later this month.

Representative Yasser Omar of the Budget Committee asserted that the government’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year prioritizes developments in the health sector. The proposed budget does not adhere to the constitutionally mandated expenditure of three percent of gross domestic product for the health sector.

Looking Ahead

  • Members of the Transportation Committee will conduct a field visit to Monofeya and Gharbia to assess the quality of various roads in the governorates later this week.