President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received Sunday the “unified project”, a proposal of legal amendments to the laws related to parliamentary elections, by nearly 30 political parties who have concluded a three-day workshop, the Conservative Party announced.
Egyptian politicians demanded legal guarantees that the upcoming parliament cannot be dissolved. “This can be achieved through an amendment in the law regulating the work of the Supreme Constitutional Court,” said Yehia Qadry, a legal expert and vice-president of the National Movement Party.
“All decisions by the SCC are retroactive under the current system,” Kadry explained in statements to Daily News Egypt. Kadry said if the law was passed before elections, the next parliament would be immune to dissolution.
Egypt’s post-30 June parliament has been pending proper laws and legislations. Former interim president Adly Mansour issued two of the three laws. Al-Sisi then issued the electoral districts law, which was ruled unconstitutional.
The initiative was launched by right-wing politicians, led by the Conservative Party. The party asserted it was not planning to produce parallel amendments to those done by the governmental committee, but to “help” protect the elections laws from potential unconstitutionality.
The idea is based on the events that led to the suspension of election. In February, a commission of SCC-affiliated senior judgesapproved several lawsuits demanding the annulment of parliamentary laws due to unconstitutional content.
The fact that the SCC took into account the commission’s recommendations was considered by politicians as a pre-monitoring role, which is the idea of securing laws and legislations from constitutional defects.
The participation of main political parties, such as Al-Wafd, Al-Nour, the Egyptian Social Democratic, the Conference and the National Movement parties, lacked an important political party, the Free Egyptians Party (FEP), led by business tycoon Naguib Sawiris.
“We would rather wait for the new law, amended by professional experts, working based on recommendations, revised by the State Council, and we trust the outcome of their efforts,” Shehab Waguih, spokesperson for the FEP party explained.
Another significant change political parties demanded was to decrease the expense limit for electoral campaigns from EGP 500,000 to EGP 200,000.
Two previous parliaments were dissolved in Egyptian history on grounds of unconstitutionality. The first dissolution was by Hosni Mubarak in 1987, three years after it was established and two years before it was to be renewed.
The second parliament annulment took place under Mohamed Morsi’s regime. Nonetheless, Morsi challenged SCC twice, first by calling the parliament to hold its regular session after SCC’s rule, then by announcing in a constitutional declaration that his decisions regarding parliamentary affairs were immune to the SCC.
The declaration, which included other similar decisions and gave the president absolute power, was followed by polarised popular demonstrations in front of the Itihadiya Palace, which resulted in clashes and killings.