Week in Brief – September 23, 2018 – September 29, 2018

10/01/2018 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • Deputy Speaker of the House al-Sayyid al-Sharif stated that the House of Representatives will resume session on Tuesday, October 2; parliament is expected to hold committee leadership elections on the same day and designate time to allow representatives to submit requests to change committee assignments.
  • Following President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, several representatives praised Sisi for what they described as his transparent approach in addressing international and regional political issues pertaining to human rights, terrorism, and nation building.

Notable Developments

House to Reconvene October 2 for Fourth Session:

Deputy Speaker of the House al-Sayyid al-Sharif announced that parliament will reconvene for the fourth legislative session on Tuesday, October 2. Sharif also expects committee leadership elections to be held on the same day, and representatives will be given an opportunity to submit requests to change committee assignments at the same time. The Official Gazette published Sisi’s decision to permit the legislature to gather per Article 115 of the Egyptian Constitution.

Representatives Praise Sisi’s U.N. Speech:

Sisi spoke at the U.N. General Assembly, addressing the body on issues such as regional security concerns in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and human rights concerns in Palestine. Sisi criticized the U.N. as an institution for failing to support peace-building initiatives in fragile Middle Eastern countries. Representatives praised Sisi’s speech in front of the international institution for his transparency and holistic approach to modern issues. Both Free Egyptians Party Chairman Essam Khalil and Youth and Sports Committee Chairman Farag Omar noted their support for Sisi’s worldwide perspective on international concerns. Meanwhile, Representative Fuad Abaza of the Arab Affairs Committee welcomed Sisi’s criticism of the U.N. and claimed that the U.N. is able to eradicate terrorism but fails to commit to the endeavor.

Other Developments

In Legislation:

As the House remains on parliamentary recess, no legislation was approved during the past week.

In Session:

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli met with various unnamed parliamentary officials ahead of the upcoming legislative session. During the meeting, he outlined 10 important topics, notably holding regular meetings with representatives, ensuring ministers and representatives continue to cooperate at amenable levels for both sides, and utilizing an electronic system to report on the implementation of the cabinet’s agenda.

Representative Fayez Barakat of the Education Committee submitted a question to Education Minister Tariq Shawqi regarding the ministry’s plan to address the growing prominence of tutors and the increasingly unreasonable prices that families pay for them.

Representative Khaled Khalfallah of the Defense Committee received permission from Madbouli as well as the Ministries of Transportation, Health, and Planning, and local officials to establish a location for ambulances near the border between Qena and Sohag; Khalfallah emphasized the necessity of the measure based on the multitude of car accidents in the area.

In News and Statements:

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Omar Marwan stated that the House created a private database to track all legislation proposed by representatives from the time of submission to the legislature until passage.

Wafd Party Spokesman Yasser al-Hudeibi said that Representative Raef al-Sayyid will chair the Agriculture Committee.

The parliamentary delegation to Ireland led by Speaker of the House Ali Abdel ‘Al met with Irish President Michael Higgins to promote increased Irish investments in agriculture and tourism; the delegation also included Tourism Committee Chairwoman Sahar Talaat, Representative Tariq Radwan of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Human Rights Committee Chairman Alaa Abed, Representative Fakhri Taeel of the Economic Affairs Committee, Representative Muhammad al-Shahawi of the Budget Committee, Parliament Secretary-General Ahmed Saad al-Din, and Representative Alaa Nagi of the Human Rights Committee.

The Coalition in Support of Egypt chose six of its new deputy chairmen: Media Committee Chairman Osama Heikal, Nation’s Future Party Chairman Ashraf Rashad, Budget Committee Chairman Hussein Aissa, Chairman of the Republican People’s Party Muhammad Salah Abu Hameela, Representative Ahmed al-Awadi, and Representative Karim Darwish. Heikal affirmed that the coalition’s leadership will improve their coordination skills during the upcoming session.

Representative Muhammad Fuad of the Budget Committee thanked his former colleagues in the Wafd Party and other political parties who attempted to intervene and remedy the dispute between him and the Wafd’s leadership.

In honor of International Tourism Day on September 27, the tourism committee’s Talaat commended all workers in Egypt’s tourism sector, both private and public, for their efforts in revitalizing the industry.

Representative Medhat al-Sharif of the Economic Affairs Committee warned against the underutilization of fact-finding committees as a failure on parliament’s behalf to exercise its oversight on the government.

Representative Tariq al-Khouli of the Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the United Kingdom and the United States maintain wavering positions on Egypt despite other prominent countries such as France and Germany becoming increasingly supportive of Egypt in terms of tourism and counter-terrorism.

Education Committee Chairman Gamal Sheeha visited several schools in Daqhalia to assess them in light of the new school year and national education system.

Representative Abdel Razeq al-Zent of the Manpower Committee called upon the government to solve the issue of overcrowding in schools by allocating additional funds to either build classrooms in existing schools or construct new facilities to educate students.

Deputy Speaker of the House al-Sayyid al-Sharif hosted officials from the Communist Party of China to promote bilateral relations; Coalition in Support of Egypt Chairman Abdel Hadi al-Qasbi also attended the meeting.

Representative Muhammad Ismail outlined public housing eligibility requirements, noting that qualifying recipients’ income must be no less than 1,500 Egyptian pounds per month and no more than 5,000 Egyptian pounds per month.

Looking Ahead

  • Representative Abdel Fattah Muhammad of the Manpower Committee will submit multiple briefing requests to the government upon the opening of the new legislative session; the briefings will focus on overpopulation, slum housing, and the education system.
  • Representative Radwan al-Ziati of the Youth and Sports Committee asserted that the committee will discuss different accountability measures for the National Football Association in light of Egypt’s failure in the World Cup at the beginning of the fourth legislative session.