Thursday, October 15, 2015

Parliament 2015 : Its true role

Next 17 October Egyptians abroad will officially open the parliamentary race at Egyptian embassies and consulates around the globe where they will choose their 8 MPs for their 8 seats in Egypt’s 2015 Parliament.
Back in  homeland aka in Egypt, the Parliamentary race’s first stage will kick off in 14 governorates
Candidates banners in 2015 
for two days starting on 18 October.
The results of the first stage will be announced at the polling station throughout 19 October till the new morning of next day.
The 14 governorates are: Giza ,Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assuit, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Beheira, Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh.
The run-offs for Egyptian abroad will be on 26-27 October whereas back home it will be on 27-28 October.
Now those are the basic info about the upcoming less interesting parliamentary elections’ first stage.
Officially, the Egyptian government says that by this parliament is the last step in its the 3 July roadmap for the so-called democratic transition in Egypt.
At least this is what the regime officials say abroad and to foreign media.
Back home, it is another story.
Everybody knows that this parliament is not meant to become the last step to bring the democratic transition to Egypt or have any true legislative role or supervisory power on the President or the government.
Everybody knows that this parliament will be a replica to the old NDP parliaments where a new unofficial President’s party is made through electoral coalitions.
For months, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was urging parties to participate in one electoral list for the sake of unity.
Of course, the parties did not do it due to the fights over power and number of seats....etc.
Nevertheless, that one list to gather them all ended up to become “For the Love of Egypt”. It was not the only list as El-Sisi wished for but it is the ONE electoral list to rule them all !!
Expected to be the true winner in the elections ,“For the love of Egypt” list is made of Pro-regime public figures like Mostafa Bakry  , former military figures , businessmen and former NDP influential members as well Pro-regime parties like Free Egyptians party
In an interview with Daily News Egypt , its coordinator Sameh Seif El-Yazel who headed G4S Egypt for some time as well the British Egyptian Business association said clearly that  “For the love of Egypt” is not the regime list but it would support President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Everybody knows that this parliament will have cartoonish opposition in order to show to the world we got an official opposition other than that annoying Pro-revolution rude meddling kids of Tahrir square.
Everybody knows that this parliament will not be able to revise according to the constitution in 15 days more than 300 laws alone issued by Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, in addition to the laws issued by Adly Mansour.
For God’s sake , how can any parliament revise over 300 laws in only 15 days in any country in the world ???
Needless to say it, former intelligence general Sameh Seif El-Yazel believes that revising the laws issued in the past two years will be a waste of time and so it is better for the MPs to approve it and to discuss it according to his recent interview with Reuters.
Everybody knows that this parliament has one job now and it is to amend the Constitution 2014 specifically the articles related to the President’s powers and Parliament's powers so we would return again to a true and full presidential state like in time of Mubarak.
Then there is no problem to disband this parliament.
This needs a whole post to explain.
But those are the true roles of Egypt’s House of Representatives.
Personally, I believe that the turnout will be lower this time. It will be extreme low comparing to the parliamentary elections of 2011 where we had true elections despite all the violations that happened during then.
The regime knows that and started its campaign through its TV hosts at night shows and radio shows urging people to go and vote in order to show the world our latest democratic festival or in other words “Not to scandalize us in front of the world”.
Despite the people’s choices then and how religion was being used, people felt that the parliament was important.
Women's queue outside a poll station in Agouza in 2011 parliamentary
elections  "Kodak Agfa" 
This time, I am afraid what is happening in Al-Ahly sport club and the Prices of vegetables are catching are more interesting for the people than the parliamentary elections.

We had a true hope during then. Ironically despite this parliament exposed the Islamist powers yet I remember its campaigns opened an important discussion about the nature of the Egyptian state.

We should not have learned from the mistakes of all the past parliaments but unfortunately, we are not moving forever, we are repeating the 2010 parliament with all its deadly flaws.
We all know what happened after the 2010 parliament, I wonder what will happen this time.

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