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Cabinet to rule on electoral districts draft

Some parties believe districts made to garner “votes for the government” in upcoming parliamentary elections


Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb discussed a new electoral law with ministers in a meeting on 12 November, 2014 in preparation for the parliamentary polls, due to be held before March 2015 (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Cabinet)
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb discussed a new electoral law with ministers in a meeting on 12 November, 2014 in preparation for the parliamentary polls, due to be held before March 2015
(Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Cabinet)

The cabinet discussed a preliminary electoral districts plan on Wednesday, after a draft was completed by the Electoral Districts Committee on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb considered the new electoral law with other ministers in preparation for the parliamentary polls planned before the end of March 2015 in a meeting on Wednesday.

Preparations for the parliamentary elections began in October, when Mehleb assigned an Electoral Districts Committee to draft a law allocating election districts in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The committee is headed by the Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim El-Heneidi.

If the cabinet approves the preliminary draft it will be returned to the committee to prepare the final draft. The committee will finalise it in two days following its return, said Ali Abdel Aal, a member of the Electoral District Committee.

The new elections law, passed by interim fresident Adly Mansour inJune, states that the House of Representatives should be comprised 567 seats. Of this, 5% (27 seats) are to be appointed by the president. The remaining 540 seats are divided between 420 seats to be voted in on individual basis, and 120 seats for the party lists system.

Free Egyptians Party spokesman Shehab Wagih said the only concern about the proposed draft law is the possibility of being deemed “unconstitutional”. If constitutional, managing the electoral districts is not as effective as it seems.  He stressed however the importance of the law as it was the main issue obstructing the initiation of the parliamentary polls.

Misr Al-Qawia spokesman Mohamed Al-Mohandes said that the new electoral districts draft “aims to direct the votes in favour of the government”.

Al-Mohandes stated that the party is yet to decide on its participation in the coming parliamentary elections.

Misr Al-Qawia (Strong Egypt Party) was founded by former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The party previously announced its boycott of the constitutional referendum and presidential elections.

Deputy of the Egyptian Patriotic Movement Hesham Hashem said that the parliamentary elections will be conducted with regard to the constitution and the law. He noted that the elections were postponed with regard to the national security.

He noted that the draft law is “adequate” and will lessen the burden on the candidates.

The Egyptian Patriotic Movement was founded by former president Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and 2012 presidential candidate, Ahmed Shafiq. The movement is part of the ‘Egyptian Front’ coalition which includes leftist, liberal parties and syndicates where some leading figures are known to have supported Mubarak. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) are members of this coalition.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said parliamentary elections will take place before the end of March 2015. It will be the third step of the roadmap outlined following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

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https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/11/12/cabinet-rule-electoral-districts-draft/
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