- People's Assembly of Egypt
Egyptian People's Assembly
مجلس الشعب المصري
Magles El-Sha'b El-Masri
Type Type Bicameral Members 508 Elections Last election 5 December 2010 Meeting place Egyptian People's Assembly, Cairo, Egypt Website http://www.parliament.gov.eg Egypt
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Politics and government of
The People's Assembly (Arabic: Maglis Al-Sha’ab مجلس الشعب) is the lower house of Egypt's bicameral parliament. In spite of its lower status, however, it plays a more important role in drafting legislation and day-to-day legislative duties than the Shura Council, the upper house.
- 1 Formation of the Assembly
- 2 Powers
- 3 People's Assembly organization
- 4 Elections
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Formation of the Assembly
The Constitution states that the law shall determine the number of the People's Assembly elected members, provided that it is not less than 350 members. The Assembly is made up of 508 deputies, 498 of whom are directly elected while the remaining 10 are appointed by the President of the Republic. It also stipulated that at least one half of the members should be workers and farmers. The Assembly sits for a five-year term but can be dissolved earlier by the president. All seats are voted on in each election. Law No. 206 for 1990 determined that the number of constituencies shall be 222, with two members each, provided that one of whom at least should be a farmer or a worker. The People's Assembly members are elected by absolute majority of legitimate votes cast.
The People's Assembly may demand the resignation of the cabinet by voting a motion of censure. For this reason, the Prime Minister and his cabinet are necessarily from the dominant party or coalition in the Assembly. When the president and assembly come from opposing parties (a situation which did arise historically, but not since the 1970s), this would lead to the situation known as cohabitation. While motions of censure are periodically proposed by the opposition following government actions that it deems highly inappropriate, these are purely rhetorical; party discipline ensures that, throughout a parliamentary term, the government is never overthrown by the Assembly.
The People's Assembly has various competences stated in Chapter Five of the Constitution. According to article 86 the People's Assembly shall undertake:
- Review and approval of agreements and treaties
- Review and approval of the State plan and budget
- Oversight of the work of the Executive
- Discussion of the President of the Republic's statement and the government program
- Amendments to the Constitution
- Approval of declarations of war and emergency
People's Assembly organization
Speaker of the People's Assembly
The People's Assembly Speaker (PA Speaker) presides over the Assembly and is elected from the Assembly membership, along with 2 deputies during the first session of the season. The Speaker's role in session is to keep the peace and order to the parliamentary session, take part in discussion provided that he gives up his presidency to one of his deputies and doesn't return to his presidency until the discussion is finished as well as ordering an emergency session for one of the Assembly's committees. In case of vacancy in the President's office, the Speaker serves as acting president until the presidential elections are held (Which must be within 60 days). This has happened once, when president Anwar Sadat was assassinated in office, and then People's Assembly Speaker, Sufi Abu Taleb served as acting president. The last PA Speaker was Dr. Ahmad Fathi Sorour, a long-time serving former parliamentarian and politician who had been speaker from 1991 to the dissolution of parliament during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Speaker's Staff Office
The Staff is responsible for organization of the assembly's and its committees' agendas, the enforcement of the Assembly's orders and is the link between the Assembly and different agencies, ministries and other authorities. The staff consists of the PA speaker and his two deputies.
Assembly's General Committee
This committee is formed in the beginning of the Assembly's annual season, headed by the Speaker. Its membership includes the Deputy Speakers, representatives of the political parties' parliamentary committees, and five Assembly members (of whom one is an independent, if there are more than ten independents). The Speaker is responsible for outlining the committee's agenda. The committee is responsible for discussing the general issues put forward by the president, the prime minister or the speaker.
These 18 committees are:
- Constitutional and Legislation Affairs committee
- Budget and Planning committee
- Economical Affairs committee
- Foreign Affairs committee
- Arab Affairs committee
- Defense, National Security and Mobilizationcommittee
- Proposals and Complaints committee
- Religious, Social and Religious Endowments (Awkaf) Affairs committee
- Health and Environmental Affairs committee
- Transportation and Telecommunications committee
- Housing, Public Utilities and Reconstruction committee
- Local Government and Public Organizations committee
- Youth committee
- Manpower Committee
- Industry and Energy Committee
- Agriculture and Irrigation Committee
- Education and Scientific Research Committee
- Culture, Information and Tourism Committee
This committee is formed in the beginning of the Assembly's annual season, headed by one of the PA speaker deputies. The membership includes the heads of the following committees: Constitutional Affairs and Legislation; Religious, Social and Awkaf Affairs; and Suggestions and Grievances; five members of the General Committee (of whom at least two are from the opposition parties); and five members chosen randomly from the Assembly. This committee is responsible for looking into the violations committed by Assembly members towards the Egyptian society's code of behavior towards religion, social standards, etc.
Ad hoc & Combined Committees
The ad-hoc committees are formed by the suggestion of the Speaker or the request of the government to study, debate on a new bill or law, voting on the ratification of a new law or bill or a special issue of concern. The Speaker is responsible on choosing members for this committee. The Combined committees are formed by the request of the Speaker, the government, members of two or more of the specialized committees, with the aim of studying a particular issue of concern. These combined committees are headed by one of the Speaker's deputies. The orders of these committees are issued when a majority vote is achieved.
The Egyptian People's Assembly is the Egyptian representative of the international parliamentary conventions. This chapter aims at developing of mutual relations with international parliaments. The General Assembly of this chapter consists of the entire membership of the Assembly, and headed by the Speaker. The Executive committee of this chapter of the Speaker staff office, three members chosen from the Assembly membership of whom at least one is a member of the opposition parties. The Assembly meets in its chapter form every January. Emergency sessions are held by the request of the executive committee to look into any of additionally outlined issues of concern.
Parliamentary elections in Egypt are carried over three stages every 5 years. The elections take place within the sixty days preceding the termination of its term. Since 1990, the election system is first past the post electoral system vote. Each stage covers a certain number of Egyptian governorates, with each stage ballot results are announced independently and right after the vote count is finished. Egypt is divided into 222 constituencies, each having two Assembly members. Each one is for each category of seats present in the assembly, one for farmers/workers and the other is for "Professionals" (Arabic: fe'at). In order for a candidate to win a parliamentary seat, this candidate should obtain the majority of the votes cast. In case this candidate doesn't obtain the majority of votes, run-off elections take place between the highest four of the candidates, of whom at least two must be of the farmers/workers category.
The November 2000 Parliamentary Elections were generally regarded to have been more transparent and better executed than past elections. This is due to the new law put into force establishing universal judicial monitoring of polling stations. On the other hand, opposition parties continue to lodge credible complaints about electoral manipulation by the government. There are significant restrictions on the political process and freedom of expression for non-governmental organizations, including professional syndicates and organizations promoting respect for human rights.
The November 2005 parliamentary elections was yet one more test of the wave of political reform that has started earlier in the year and of which President Mubarak promised more of in his alleged final term as president. These elections were expected to carry an even higher degree of credibility and transparency than previous elections with laws allowing public and civil human rights and activists to separately monitor the election process; also the existence of more oppositional and political pressure groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt. Although there have been a debate concerning the change of the election system to become party-list proportional representation rather than the current Single-Winner system.
election resultsSummary of the 7 November to 9 December 2005 People's Assembly of Egypt Parties Votes % Seats Gains Losses Net
National Democratic Party (Al'Hizb Al Watani Al Democrati) 311 ? ? ? 68.5 New Wafd Party (Hizb al-Wafd-al-Jadid) 6 ? ? ? 1.3 Progressive National Unionist Party (Hizb al Tagammo' al Watani al Taqadommi al Wahdwawi) 2 ? -? -? 0.22 Tomorrow Party (Hizb al-Ghad) 1 0 -1 -1 0.2 Independents (Muslim Brotherhood - al-ikhwān al-muslimūn) 88 ? ? ? 19.4 Independents (other) 24 ? ? ? 5.3 Still in contest 0 Unelected members 10 0 0 0 2.2 Arab Democratic Nasserist Party or Nasserist Party 0 0 -1 -1 0 Liberal Party (Hizb al-Ahrar) 0 0 -1 -1 0 Total (turnout %) 454
Summary of the 2010 People's Assembly of Egypt election results Parties Votes % Seats 2005 Seats Net Change Seats
National Democratic Party (Al'Hizb Al Watani Al Democrati) 420 330 90 81.0% Independents (NDP) 53 0 53 10.2% New Wafd Party (Hizb al-Wafd-al-Jadid) 6 5 1 1.1% Progressive National Unionist Party (Hizb al Tagammo' al Watani al Taqadommi al Wahdwawi) 5 1 4 0.9% Tomorrow Party (Hizb al-Ghad) 1 1 0 0.2% Arab Democratic Nasserist Party or Nasserist Party 0 0 0 0.0% Liberal Party (Hizb al-Ahrar) 0 0 0 0.0% Social Justice Party (Hizb Al-'Adala al- Ijtima'iyya) 1 - 1 0.2% Democratic Generation Party (Hizb El-Geel al-Democrati) 1 - 1 0.2% Democratic Peace Party (Hizb El-Salaam al-Democrati) 1 - 1 0.2% Independents (Muslim Brotherhood - al-ikhwān al-muslimūn) 1 88 −87 0.2% Independents (other) 15 19 4 Still in contest 4 Unelected members 10 0 0 1.9% Total (turnout %) 518
The People's Assembly was dissolved on February 2, 2011.
- List of Speakers of the People's Assembly of Egypt
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