Legal amendments delay Egypt's elections

Legal amendments delay Egypt's elections
Postponements to Egypt's parliamentary law are blamed on the government's failure to amend electoral law.
2 min read
09 April, 2015

The Egyptian government could delay upcoming parliamentary elections indefinitely.

Authorities claim this is due to a failure to reach a compromise over amendments to the electoral constituencies law. Elections were originally expected to take place in March or April 2015 but have been postponed to May or June 2015.

During the last two meetings between Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and party representatives no clear agreement was reached on amendments. A court had previously ruled the law unconstitutional.

Party representatives have seriously disagreed over proposed amendments and accused the government of trying to impose itself in meetings. "The government is actively trying to derail talks to amend the law and put its own plans into effect during the coming period," a party representative, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

     Sisi's regime is delaying making amendments to the law so elections will be postponed until after Ramadan.

The representative said Sisi's regime was delaying amendments to the law so elections will be postponed until after Ramadan in mid-July. The government has given no reasons for delaying amending the law, according to the representative.

Tahani al-Gebali, vice president of the Supreme Constitutional Court, almost walked out of the last meeting, objecting to its poor organisation and lack of agenda. 

Alaa Abd al-Moneim, a former member of parliament accused the government of not being serious about making the necessary amendments and of using the parties purely for decoration. Mahlab is understood to have angrily replied that, the government "is serious and we are not turning anyone into decoration. The government has not said a single word it hasn't stuck to."

Khalid Dawoud, representative of the Constitution Party, and film director Khaled Youssef also accused the committee amending the electoral laws and the government of "wasting time and not genuinely wanting to hold elections".

Committee member Salah Fawzi, however, said the committee was serious but was working in compliance with rulings from the Supreme Constitutional Court. "The disputes are about increasing the number of constituencies so there is a better balance. There are no problems with the electoral lists," he said.

Before the last meeting Gebali had argued that elections should be postponed for at least two years to give Sisi the chance to work without any parliamentary obstructions.

Political analyst Mukhtar Gubashi told al-Araby al-Jadeed: "We still don't know when the committee and government will finish these amendments. The government is operating without a specific agenda and is delaying everything, which is very risky."

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.