EPW Week in Brief – May 1-7, 2019

05/08/2019 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel ‘Al hosted new World Bank President David Malpass to discuss recent economic reforms in Egypt and to offer a history of Egypt’s House of Representatives. Malpass praised ongoing economic developments in Egypt during his meeting with Abdel ‘Al.
  • The House convened in an emergency plenary session on May 4 to approve the state of emergency which appeared in the Official Gazette on April 23 and began on April 25. The House approved the new state of emergency that day, nine days after it went into effect.

Notable Developments

Abdel ‘Al Hosts World Bank President:

Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel ‘Al hosted new World Bank President David Malpass on May 4. During their meeting, Abdel ‘Al congratulated him on his new position, spoke about the history of Egypt’s House of Representatives, and described recent legislation related to Egypt’s economic reforms, such as the 2017 Investment Law. According to Egyptian media and a statement issued through the World Bank, Malpass praised Egypt’s legislative efforts and expressed his excitement for various economic and social development projects in Egypt, though he noted that Egypt must progress on issues pertaining to subsidies and private sector advancement.

House Approves State of Emergency Declaration:

The House convened in an emergency plenary session on May 4 to discuss the state of emergency issued in the Official Gazette on April 23 and going into effect April 25. The House approved the measure, nine days after the state of emergency began.

Other Developments

In Legislation:

Constitutional Affairs Committee Chairman Bahaa Abu Shoqa stated that his committee completed its drafting the new Code of Criminal Procedure during the third legislative session, but Abu Shoqa claimed that an extensive legislative agenda during the current session has prevented the new code from being discussed thus far. Abu Shoqa noted that he expects the committee to complete its discussions of the bill within the next two months.

In Session:

The Agriculture Committee discussed the agriculture ministry’s proposed budget for the 2019–20 fiscal year.

The Local Administration Committee discussed the proposed state budget for economic and social development for the 2019–20 fiscal year.

The Social Solidarity Committee approved the proposed budget for the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood for the 2019–20 fiscal year.

The Transportation Committee conducted a field visit to South Sinai on May 2 to assess road maintenance in the region and ports along the Red Sea.

The Media Committee is finalizing a report about its visit two weeks ago to Luxor, which it will subsequently send upon completion to Abdel ‘Al to disclose its findings concerning various historical sites in the region.

In News and Statements:

Free Egyptians Party Chairman Essam Khalil described recent development projects in Sinai and Ismailia as “strong” efforts to develop the regions.

Abdel ‘Al thanked representatives in the House for their collective and individual efforts to promote the constitutional amendments prior to the national referendum.

Representative Nader Mustafa of the Media Committee welcomed the decision of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation to monitor advertisements during Ramadan in order to ensure that advertisements are abiding by religious customs and values during the holy month.

Parliamentary Spokesman Salah Hassiballah praised President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi’s Labor Day speech for addressing various economic issues impacting the country.

Representative Mustafa Bakri of the Constitutional Affairs Committee warned of continued disputes between the Transitional Military Council in Sudan and officials calling for civilian rule, asserting that a peaceful resolution to this conflict must occur.

Looking Ahead

  • The African Affairs Committee will convene May 13 to discuss recent developments in Africa as well as to discuss the committee’s remaining budget for the fourth legislative session.
  • The Arab Affairs Committee will convene twice on Sunday to discuss international treaties with neighboring Arab countries concerning hunting regulations.
  • The House is expected to debate several draft laws concerning the recently approved constitutional amendments, including bills on transitional justice, judicial authority, the new Senate, and elections for the Supreme Judicial Council, among others.