"Work priorities" highlighted goals of National Dialogue Sunday



Sun, 21 May 2023 - 05:15 GMT


Sun, 21 May 2023 - 05:15 GMT

The National Dialogue- the photo courtesy of the National Dialogue's Facebook

The National Dialogue- the photo courtesy of the National Dialogue's Facebook

CAIRO – 21 May 2023: The National Dialogue tackled on Sunday the political parties’ issues and the law regulating municipal councils.


The political axis of the National Dialogue held two sessions on enhancing and supporting the activities of parties, as well as means to eliminate obstacles against their progress. They also discussed the formation and jurisdictions of a political committee.


"The financial and administrative governance of parties was also discussed.

Two sessions are dedicated to political life in Egypt. However, the sessions will be repeated if they are not enough to cover all the points,"said Diaa Rashwan, coordinator of the National Dialogue.


"Many items in the law of parties and proposed amendments are still on the table... Discussions are ongoing and are expected to be prolonged due to the complexity of the matter. The difference between a religious job and a political party is that the latter seeks the rule, but there has been confusion in Egypt about that at one point," stated Aly el-Din Helal, rapporteur of the National Dialogue’s political axis.


"There should be clear financial and administrative governance in every party to ensure transparency, and enhance their role in Egyptian political life, offering alternatives to the people. The role of political parties has been minor throughout Egypt’s political history although they legitimize the rulers and governments," Helal added.


Abdel Moneim Imam, head of Al-Adl party, said the image of parties before the people is “negative," and that posing restrictions on parties for some 80 years only turned young people to extremist entities.He also proposed that legal financing of parties and merging parties should be legalized.


Nagy al-Shehaby, head of the Democratic Generation party, proposed the parties' non-profit media outlets should be exempted from paid licenses to allow more accessibility and exposure to the public without paying huge sums of money; while

Mai Rushdy, representative of the Reform and Development party, suggested that parties should be allowed to have their own investment and commercial activities.


Sabrin Hegazy of the Coordination of Party Youth and Politicians (CPYP) said a mix of the open free list and the open list proportional representation should be applied, and Wafd Party said it supports only the open list proportional representation.


Former governor of Alexandria Mohamed Abdel Zaher refused that local councils be given the power to withdraw confidence from governors because they are appointed by the president and not elected. However, the rapporteur of the local councils committee at the National Dialogue said this is a constitutional right for local councils. For his part, Tagammu party representative Abdel Nasser Qandil said governors should be elected, not appointed, and that only the president should have the power to remove them.


Additionally, Tagammu Party highlighted that it supports the closed-list system, and so does the Republican People Party. The latter's representative, Mohamed Wafiq also said workshops for young people should be held to prepare cadres for the quotas listed in the constitution.


Reform and Renaissance party representative Aly Abdel Mottaleb said they support party-list proportional representation, and called for the separation of the local councils law from the local administration law.


Karim al-Saqa of the Presidential Pardon Committee said merging parties and increasing their resources should be legalized, adding that the cost of founding a party should be higher than the current LE 5,000.


Member of the National Dialogue’s Board of Trustees Fatma Sayed Ahmed said the law that allows parties to be founded just by notifying the authorities should be revoked.

“The opposition speaks as if it owns the stamp of freedom and patriotism, and the other is the exact opposite. This is not true, and each of us must respect and support the other and be glad in his presence. Pluralism requires the presence of supporters and dissent next to each other,” the National Dialogue’s Fatma Sayed Ahmed said.

She also called for hosting dissent on T.V. and other media outlets.

The two National Dialogue sessions dedicated to local councils on Sunday are determining the following:
1- The appropriate electoral system in the light of Article 180 of the Constitution.
2- Conditions and procedures for candidacy for membership of local councils.
3- The maximum and minimum numbers of members of local councils in each governorate, markaz (an administrative division), the city, the neighborhood, and the village according to the number of the population, whenever possible.
4- Tools of local councils in holding heads of local units accountable (questioning - request for briefing - interrogation).
5- Conditions for the dissolution of local councils by the executive authority.
6- Amending the current law after arriving at decisions on the mentioned issues. Articles in question are about 23.
7- Not interfering in the jurisdiction of local councils or local financing and leaving them as is in the current law. They will be discussed in the comprehensive law, however.




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