A general view shows members of the Egyptian parliament attending the opening session at the main headquarters of Parliament in Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
CAIRO – 15 September 2019:Revived by a public referendum in April this year, the Senate is believed to be of great importance to the political life in Egypt. Political parties affirm that the awaited legislative body will include competent figures, and that it will contribute to completing the democracy and legislation pillars in the country.
The Senate is concerned with studying and proposing what it sees as a tool to consolidate democracy, support national unity, social peace, the basic values of society, supreme values, rights, freedoms and public duties, as well as deepen and expand the democratic system, according to Article 248 of the constitution.
The Senate shall consist of a number of members determined by law, no less than 180 members. Two-thirds of the members of the Council of Representatives shall be elected by direct secret universal suffrage. The President of the Republic shall appoint the remaining third and the elections shall be held in accordance with the law.
Makram Mohamed Ahmed, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, called the elections of the Senate a necessity for the quality of the legislations. He also highlighted the Senate's role in passing the pending laws under legislation.
The elections of the Senate is a constitutional entitlement, according to the recent amendments of the constitution, MP Suzy Nashed, a member of the legislative and constitutional committee in the Parliament, said.
She added that the Senate would push forward the political process and contribute to developing the competition between political parties.
Major General Mohamed Ghobashy, spokesperson for the Homeland Defenders Party, said the Senate's role was clear in the recent constitutional amendments, which was to help in the legislation process.
The party seeks to enhance the role of the Senate in passing the legislations, in order for the revived body not to be only an advisory council, Ghobashy said.
The Senate will have a role in easing the burden of the Parliament, as part of the legislations will personally be passed by the Senate, he said, adding that the elections of the Sentae will witness strong competition among parties.
Tarek Sa'ada, head of the Media Syndicate, highlighted the need to hold elections for the Senate, affirming the reliance on the youth for the scientific and administrative capabilities they have.
During the Ask the President session, as part of the National Youth Conference held on July 30-31 this year, Sisi said the Senate has always been formed from people with cumulative experience, adding that such quality was usually unavailable in the young age. However, the Parliament and Local Councils are available for the youth, Sisi said.
According to Article 249 of the Constitution, the opinion of the Senate shall be taken as follows:
- Proposals for the amendment of one or more articles of the Constitution.
- Projects concerning the general plan for Social and Economic Development
- Treaties of reconciliation and alliance and all treaties relating to the rights of sovereignty.
- Draft laws supplementing the Constitution and others referred to Senate by the President of the Republic.
- What the President of the Republic refers to the Senate concerning the general policy of the State or its policy in Arab or foreign affairs.
The Council shall give its opinion on these matters to the President of the Republic and the President of the Council of Representatives.