People's Assembly wraps up parliamentary session

Yasmine Saleh
4 Min Read

CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) wrapped up its parliamentary session last Tuesday but failed to finalize the new organ transplant and personal status laws.

Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, PA member affiliated with the National Democratic Party, told Daily News Egypt that several MPs were frustrated that the new laws were still pending.

“Those two laws are extremely important, Kwaitah said.

Kwaitah himself had proposed two amendments to the current personal affairs law, pertaining to visitation rights by divorced parents and extended family members as well as DNA testing.

Last week both the PA’s health and legislative committees approved the organ transplant law.

Although President Hosni Mubarak underlined the organ transplant law’s importance during his inaugural speech for the new parliamentary session, Kuwaitah says controversy still looms as doctors are yet to agree on the definition of death.

“Some neurosurgeons still believe that the failure of the brain and not the heart is not enough to declare the person dead, Kwaitah said. That is why, he continued, some people consider taking organs from brain dead patients “murder.

In a meeting between the PA’s health and legislation committees last week, Mufid Shehab, minister of state for parliamentary and legal affairs, said that the organ transplant law rested on a fatwa issued by Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawy, who said that according to Sharia, Islamic law, death occurs by either the death of the brain or the heart or both.

During the PA’s last session on Tuesday, PA members discussed the Russian wheat shipment that has been a topic of controversy over the last month.

Two shipments of Russian wheat have so far been investigated over quality and health concerns.

Head of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Parliamentary Bloc, Hussein Ibrahim, called for the questioning of the government over allowing the Russian wheat shipment into Egypt.

“The general prosecutor will take legal action against the people involved, but who will hold the government responsible for violating the rights of Egyptian citizens by allowing this shipment to enter the country? Ibrahim asked.

“Until now, the government did not issue a decree to cancel any deals with the importers who were in charge of this wheat shipment, he added.

The Egyptian company responsible for importing this shipment was reportedly ordered to pay back the government the money it had received for supplying the wheat.

Saad Al-Katatny, MP affiliated with the Brotherhood, criticized the last parliamentary session for not discussing issues of political reform and democracy, in his speech on Tuesday.

However, Al-Katatny lauded PA Chairman Fathi Sorour along with all PA’s independent and opposition members for their role during this parliamentary session.

Sorour refuted news that the government intends to dissolve the PA.

President Hosni Mubarak filed a new law to regulate Egypt’s nuclear energy for peaceful purposes to be used in more projects; however, the new regulation will be discussed in the next parliamentary session in November.

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