A voter's finger is marked with ink at a polling station during the second day of the presidential election in Alexandria, Egypt March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany A voter's finger is marked with ink at a polling station during the second day of the presidential election in Alexandria, Egypt March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt's local elections presumed to start by end of 2019: MP

Wed, Jan. 2, 2019
CAIRO - 2 January 2018: Parliament's Local Administration Committee's member Mohamed Salah expected Egypt's local election to be held in the last quarter of 2019, adding that the local administration law will be discussed in the Parliament's plenary session.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Salah said that preparing the internal regulation of the law may take up to six months after the Parliament approves the law. Therefore, the local polls may start by the end of this year.

Holding the elections requires that the Parliament approves the law, and send it to the president for ratification; thus there is a big chance elections will be held this year, Salah said.

Always postponed

The local elections have been witnessing a significant delay after municipal councils were dissolved eight years ago. Recently, the local administration law,which has not yet been sent to the president for approval, is stated to be the reason behind the delay.

Former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told Parliament in March 2016 that the local elections were scheduled for the first quarter of 2017, but they did not take place.

Parliamentary spokesman Salah Hassaballah told reporters in April 2018 that the local elections will be held during the first half of 2019 after the local administrative draft law is passed by the Parliament.

Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said in May that the local elections will be held in 2018 or the early beginnings of 2019, which seems sooner than the date expected by some officials.

"The Local Administration Committee in the Parliament has finished discussing a draft law for the local administration," Abdel Aal said in a statement, referring to the draft law which is set to allow the first local polls in a decade to be held.

"This draft law will be discussed [by the Parliament] soon, and local elections will be held before the end of 2018," Abdel Aal added.

The four-year term local council members are responsible for monitoring service facilities and following up on governmental plans carried out across Egypt’s governorates. MP Ali Abdel Wahed said that conducting municipal elections is a need to allow supervision over the markets and the executive body

MP Abdel Hamid Kamal of the Local Administration Committee said that the government and the state have to be keen on holding the local polls before the end of 2018.

"The current immense corruption that exists due to the absence of local councils affirms the need to hold local polls, which is a constitutional right," Kamal explained.

The former local councils, formed after 2008 polls, were dissolved in 2011 following the popular uprising that ended the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak. Government-appointed officials have run local affairs without council oversight since then.

According to the law, women have 25 percent of the local councils’ seats. Abdel Aal said in January 2018 that local councils’ female members will hold more than 25 percent of the seats.
 
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