FILE - An Egyptian casts his vote in Egypt's presidential election – Reuters
CAIRO – 15 September 2019: Political parties are preparing themselves for local elections, as the Law of Local Administration will be issued during the last 2019 round of the Parliament.
The latest 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.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Bahaa Abu Shoka, head of the New al-Wafd Party, said the local election was a great opportunity for political parties to re-exist, adding that it would greatly help protect the Egyptian state.
The local councils represent mini-parliaments in the governorates of Egypt, Abu Shoka said, highlighting their role in monitoring and following up on the government performance nationwide. It will also assist the Parliament and the Senate (formerly Shura Council) in the governorates.
The local election represents an important step in activating the role of youth in all parts of the republic, and gives them the opportunity to protect the Egyptian state, he said. Such councils also help prepare young people with great experience to be future candidates for Parliament, he added.
The Law of Local Administration will come out during the next and last round of the Parliament, and will be a strong and effective law, Abu Shoka said, adding that it would give full powers to all members of the local councils, so as to be a serious step in the reform of Egyptian governorates.
Abu Shoka revealed that his party was preparing powerful cadres for the local elections in specialized training courses.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi spoke about the Local Administration Law, which has not yet been issued in a final form, in his speech at the Ask the President session, as part of the 7th National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 this year.
Since 2011, Egypt has not conducted elections for local councils, Sisi noted, affirming that the local councils in Egypt and worldwide have the biggest role in monitoring the performance of the government in every governorate.
“We are very keen to hold the elections for local councils as soon as possible, based on the 2014 constitution,” the president said, expressing hope that the youth are highly represented in the next elections, and that 18,000 young people participate in the vote.
Galal al-Haridi, head of the Homeland Defenders Party, stressed that his party has prepared for the local elections at several levels, and has selected its candidates based on age, the ability to communicate with the masses, and also on the educational level of all candidates.
Also, head of Al-Mo'tamar (Conference) Party Omar Mokhtar said the party had sent forms to its members in the governorates to run for the local elections, including the conditions of candidacy and criteria set by the party for its members to run on the party lists.
The local election will encourage parties to enhance the level of their communication with the public, and to present their visions and programs to citizens, Mokhtar said.
Engineer Hazem Omar, head of the Republican People's Party, said the party was fully prepared for the local elections, and has already trained its cadres for them.
The presence of local councils has become necessary for the Egyptian state and to help the Egyptian citizens solve all their problems, whether in villages, cities, or governorates.