Demand to reinstate Shura Council sparks debate between MPs



Sat, 16 Sep 2017 - 12:17 GMT


Sat, 16 Sep 2017 - 12:17 GMT

House of Representatives main hall - File Photo

House of Representatives main hall - File Photo

CAIRO – 16 September 2017: The latest demand for the constitution to be amended and to reinstate the Shura (Consultative) Council has sparked a debate between the parliamentarians.

Ahmed Helmy al-Sherif, the deputy of Parliament's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee, encouraged the reinstating of the Shura council, stating that all countries have two legislative chambers to cooperate with the parliament.

Sherif replied to those who said that the reinstating of the Shura council will be another load on the country’s budget, saying that the council will not cost the state anything because the employees of "Shura" already work now in the parliament, and the budget of the parliament is the same budget of both the parliament and the Shura council.

He stressed that the return of the Shura Council contributes to better discussions of law projects, stating that the parliament would benefit from the Shura council’s experience.

Parliamentarian Mostafa Bakry stated that the “Shura Council cancellation was a mistake,” as it used to assist the parliament in its duties, pointing out the importance of reforming it.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, who was on the committee of ten legal experts given a mandate to amend Egypt’s constitution in 2014, stated earlier that he wished that time came back to agree to the continuation of the Shura Council, which is “the second chamber of parliament.”

On the other hand, Parliamentarian Mohamed Abu Hamid expressed his rejection of the reinstating of the Shura council, noting that it does not benefit the country since now the parliament carries out the duties and missions of the Shura Council.

Ihab, the Member of Parliament's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee commented on the demand of reinstating the Shura Council saying that the “country's budget conditions do not bear any other expenses.”

He also noted that the constitutional amendment requires a popular referendum, and this will give rise to other issues.

The Shura Council should not be reinstated with the same number of members as before. It should be reformed with a limited number in order to cooperate with the parliament in some general decisions related to the constitutional and legislative regulations, Eltamawy added.

The Shura Council was created in 1980 through a Constitutional Amendment during the ruling era of Anwar Sadat. In 2013, the 50-member committee to amend suspended the 2012 constitution issued a decision to abolish the Shura Council, after 42 years of its existence.



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