The initiative that gathers all the main players of political parties in Egypt is poised to start work on the parties’ version of electoral districts law amendments on 14 May.
Secretary General of the organisation of the Conservatives Party and founder of ‘the Unified Project’ initiative, Beshry Shalash, announced in a Sunday press conference that 36 parties joined the initiative. It will produce amendments to the law that represents conclusive perspective of the parties on the issue.
The participating parties include Al-Wafd, Al-Nour, the Egyptian Social Democratic, the Conference and the National Movement parties.
The initiative’s statement at the press conference asserted that it is not planning to produce parallel amendments to those done by the governmental committee. Instead, it will work within President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s call to protect the elections laws from potential unconstitutionality.
The elections were scheduled to take place in March, but the electoral district law was ruled unconstitutional. Al-Sisi has announced parliamentary elections will be held in the coming period, but not during Ramadan, which is to start in mid-June.
The main issue from the government’s view was the flawed law distributing individual parliamentary seats over electoral districts. The number of elected individual seats in the initial law issued by the President was 420, out of the total 567 seats.
Political parties saw further problems, which would lead, in their opinion, to an unbalanced and unrepresentative parliament. They argued that this would give less space for political entities in the political process, to the advantage of more powerful and wealthier candidates, mainly politicians from the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
The initiative said the end product of the three-day workshop, which will start Thursday, is to agree on amendments the parties want for the laws, to be sent to the government and presidency to voice the political parties’ view.