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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Senate Elections during Coronavirus Era, Op-ed


Sun 12 Jul 2020 | 03:18 PM
Basant ahmed

 

Yesterday, Candidates started registration for Egypt Senate elections, some may ask what is the reason for electing the Senate in the current stage as long as the parliament is doing its job properly? The answer, in my view, is that it is an important step in the journey of stepping towards the future to which President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi leads us through confident steps to build the new Egypt with its constitutional institutions. Senate elections represent reviving the second legislative chamber, so that we have a council to which laws are referred before they are sent to the House of Representatives to study and express an opinion on them. This step eases the burden on the House of Representatives and enriches the democratic process.

Because the elections take place during the outbreak of Coronavirus, preparations began in 27 primary courts to receive those wishing to run for Egypt Senate elections. The National Election commission urged the candidates to keep distance and wear masks in order to ensure the safety of the candidates and committees.

I hope that the arrangements made by the government will lead us to activate what the people voted on in the constitutional amendments, especially these articles relating to  the representation of youth, Christians, disabled people and Egyptians expats.

In fact the experience of the single legislative chamber represented in the parliament was a heavy task, as the parliament discussed and approved amendments to many laws during the past period, in the economic, social fields or treaties. That is why I hope that the Egyptian citizen will be aware when choosing a member of the Senate to elect the most experienced, efficient and wise ones and to be  aware of the reality of the challenges we face, so that we will have senators who can study the laws carefully and more professionally in many fields.

Egypt has a long history in the parliamentary life, it is one of the oldest democratic countries. The Senate has a long history in Egypt as well, as it started in 1829 when Muhammad Ali  founded the Council of Consultation (Majlis al— Mashura)  and it consisted of one hundred and fifty-six members, to take their opinion  in the matters of education, administration and daily works, and to receive complaints that were presented to them to provide appropriate solutions to them.

As for the modern Shura Council, it was established during the era of late President Sadat  in 1979 and continued to exercise its role as the supreme chamber of the Egyptian Parliament.

After the incidents of January 25, the constitutional declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in March 2011 ratified the Shura council, but the Brotherhood distorted the experience to enable them to rule and to be an alternative to the People's Assembly. Then it was dissolved with its brotherhood concept following the revolution of June 30, 2013.

It was elected again under the name of the Senate in the constitutional amendments approved by the people in April 2019. It is important  to participate in the political life, whether as candidates or voters, to prove our right in a democratic life.

Although there are no official statements issued by the national parties so far, I hope that the list includes a number of enthusiasts for democratic life who played an honorable national role.

I was pleased with the news that was published about the candidacy of journalist and writer Mahmoud Bakry, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Esbo’a “The Week” newspaper.

I hope that these elections turn unique in light of the precautionary measures taken by the state to protect candidates, voters and committees from the Coronavirus.