Senate (Egypt)

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Egyptian Shura Council

مجلس الشورى المصرى

Maǧlis aš-Šūrā al-Maṣrī
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Type
Type
Seats270 [1]
Elections
Last election
2012
Next election
2020
Meeting place
Shura Council chamber of the Egyptian Parliament building, Cairo, Egypt
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This article is part of a series on the
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The Shura Council (Arabic : مجلس الشورى, pronounced  [ˈmæɡles eʃˈʃuːɾˤɑ] , "consultative council") was the upper house of the formerly bicameral Parliament of Egypt. Its name roughly translated into English as "the Consultative Council". The lower house of parliament is the House of Representatives. The council was abolished by the 2014 constitution. [2]

An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. The house formally designated as the upper house is usually smaller and often has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the Australian Senate, Brazil's Senado Federal, the Canadian Senate, France's Sénat, Germany's Bundesrat, India's Rajya Sabha, Ireland's Seanad, Malaysia's Dewan Negara, Myanmar's Amyotha Hluttaw, the Netherlands' Eerste Kamer, Pakistan's Senate of Pakistan, Russia's Federation Council, Switzerland's Council of States, United Kingdom's House of Lords and the United States Senate.

A bicameral legislature has legislators in two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, and from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. As of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures are bicameral.

Parliament of Egypt

The Parliament of Egypt, officially the House of Representatives is currently a unicameral legislature.

Contents

The Shura Council was created in 1980 through a Constitutional Amendment. The Council was composed of 264 members of which 176 members were directly elected and 88 were appointed by the President of the Republic for six-year terms. Membership was rotating, with one half of the Council renewed every three years.

President of Egypt head of state of Egypt.

The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the head of state of Egypt. Under the various iterations of the Constitution of Egypt, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and head of the executive branch of the Egyptian government. The current president is Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in office since 8 June 2014.

A legal challenge concerning the constitutionality of the Shura Council was to have been considered on 2 December 2012 by the High Constitutional Court, [3] but the court postponed the verdict in response to protests. [4] Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration issued in November 2012 bars the Shura Council from being dissolved by the judiciary. [5] The constitutional declaration issued by Morsi in December 2012 allowed the Shura Council to be dissolved by the judiciary. [6] The High Constitutional Court referred the lawsuit to the State Commissioners' Board, which is the advisory board of the High Constitutional Court, on 15 January 2013. [7] The board of commissioners will review the lawsuit on 10 February 2013; after lawyers give the required documents, the board will create a report on the constitutionality of the election law. [8] The report was received 22 April 2013. [9] The formation of the Shura Council was ruled unconstitutional on 2 June 2013. [10] As of early July 2013, 30 members of the Shura Council have resigned. [11] The Shura Council was dissolved on 5 July 2013. [12]

After the approval of the 2019 Egyptian constitutional referendum, an upper house will be restored and called the senate. [13]

2019 Egyptian constitutional referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Egypt from 20–22 April 2019, with overseas voting taking place between 19 and 21 April. The proposed changes allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to remain in power until 2030; under the previous version of the constitution, he would have been barred from contesting the next elections, which were due in 2022. The changes were approved by 88.83% of voters who voted, with a 44% turnout.

Members

The Shura Council comprised 264 members, two-thirds (176) of whom were elected by direct ballot, and the remaining third appointed by the President of the Republic. Half of all members were required to be farmers or workers.

Term of membership and activities

The term membership of the Shura Council was six years. However, renewed election and appointment of 50% of the total number of members was required every three years, and re-election and re-appointment was possible for those members whose terms were expiring. The Constitution provided many guarantees to protect the Council, including:

Candidates criteria

In accordance with the law, any candidate wishing to be elected to the Shura Council shall meet the following conditions:

The Shura Council member is elected by the absolute majority of valid votes cast in the elections.

Powers

Although the powers of the Shura Council were not as extensive or effective as the People’s Assembly, its jurisdiction as provided by Articles (194) and (195) of the Constitutions of 1971 and 2012 covers the studying and proposing of what is deemed necessary to preserve the principles of the 23 July revolution and the 15 May 1971 Corrective Revolution. The Shura Council consulted on the following (Article 195):

The council must ratify:

In case of disagreements with the People’s Assembly, a combined committee is formed composed of both chambers’ chairmen and seven members from each chamber. The proposed bill is reconsidered in both chambers. If either still disagrees, the issue is once again in a joint session of both chambers to reach a common statement.

The council is considered on a consultative capacity for:

In this case, the council submitted its decision to the president and the People’s Assembly.

Parliamentary elections

There are currently many recognized political parties covering a broad political spectrum. However, the formation of political parties based on religion is prohibited by the Constitution. Opposition and political pressure groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are active in Egypt and make their views public, and they are represented at various levels in the political system.

A political party is an organized group of people who have the same ideology, or who otherwise have the same political positions, and who field candidates for elections, in an attempt to get them elected and thereby implement the party's agenda.

A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different political positions in relation to one another upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. The expressions political compass and political map are used to refer to the political spectrum as well, especially to popular two-dimensional models of it.

Constitution of Egypt

The Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the fundamental law of Egypt.

The November 2000 parliamentary elections are generally regarded to have been more transparent and better executed than past elections. This is due to the new law put into force establishing universal judicial monitoring of polling stations. On the other hand, opposition parties continue to lodge credible complaints about electoral manipulation by the government. There are significant restrictions on the political process and freedom of expression for non-governmental organizations, including professional syndicates and organizations promoting respect for human rights.

Human rights Inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled

Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected as natural and legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin, or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution.

Last election

Note that, prior to the 2011–2012 elections, the Council and Assembly had both been dissolved by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

e    d  Summary of the 2012 elections for the Shura Council
PartyProportional representation FPTP Total
seats
Votes%SeatsSeats
Freedom and Justice Party 2,894,92245.045649105
Islamist Bloc 1,840,01428.6338745
New Wafd Party 543,4178.4514014
Egyptian Bloc 348,9575.43808
Freedom Party 84,9361.32303
Democratic Peace Party 95,2731.48101
Independents44
Presidential appointees90
Total6,427,66610012060270

2008 fire

On 19 August 2008, a huge fire seriously damaged most of the 19th-century palace that houses the Shura Council in Cairo. At least thirteen people were hurt in the fire, which destroyed the parliamentary archive room and several meeting chambers. [14]

According to the Egyptian Channel 1, 99% of the documents were destroyed in the fire. [ citation needed ]

On 21 November 2009, President Mubarak inaugurated the new Shura Council Building, which was renovated by Al Mokaweloon Al Arab.

See also

Related Research Articles

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The politics of Egypt is based on republicanism, with a semi-presidential system of government, established following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, and the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. The President of Egypt is elected for a maximum of two four-year terms and the Parliament is unicameral and unbiased. The President can appoint up to 5% of the total number of seats in Parliament, and can also dissolve it. Parliament can also impeach the President. Egypt was traditionally ruled by royals until 1952, but the first freely elected President was in 2006. The Parliament of Egypt is the oldest legislative chamber in Africa and the Middle East.

History of the Egyptian parliament

Parliamentary life in Egypt has been a mark of Egyptian civilizations along its history. In modern history, parliamentary life started as early as 1824 while representative parliamentary life did not start until 1866. In 2016, Egypt celebrated the 150th anniversary of Parliamentary life in their country.

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References

  1. "Morsy appoints 90 members to Shura Council". Daily News Egypt. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  2. "What's in Egypt's proposed new constitution?". Al Jazeera English. 14 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. "HCC to address constitutionality of Shura Council 2 December". Ahram Online. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  4. "Egypt Constitutional Court postpones all sessions indefinitely". Ahram Online. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  5. "Politicians divided on Morsy's new constitutional declaration". Egypt Independent. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  6. El-Dabh, Basil (10 December 2012). "Referendum to decide Shura power". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  7. "Constitution court refers Shura Council case to state commissioners' board". Ahram Online. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  8. "Shura Council nullification lawsuit to be reviewed 10 Feb". Egypt Independent. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  9. "Court to rule on Shura Council dissolution in May". Daily News Egypt. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  10. "SCC deems Shura Council and Constituent Assembly unconstitutional". Daily News Egypt. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  11. "Thirty Shura Council members have resigned". Egypt Independent. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  12. "BREAKING: Egypt's interim president dissolves Shura Council: State TV". Ahram Online. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  13. "Sisi thanks Egyptians for their 'dazzling' participation in constitutional referendum". Ahram Online. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  14. "Egypt's parliament hit by blaze". BBC News. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008.