By Hoda Badri
The induction meeting of the newly elected first-phase parliament members was launched Monday to outline the nature of the parliament’s legislative and supervisory powers.
The meeting witnessed controversy among a number of representatives and the officer in charge of the Department of Foreign Relations Committee at the parliament, regarding the conditions for the use of representatives’ passports.
Members of Parliament objected during the induction meeting, which was held in the former Shura Council, to a rule that state that their newly-issued passports can only be used for special tasks in which they will represent Egypt abroad by virtue of an assignment letter from the head of the parliament. The special passports will be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Khalid Al-Sadr, Secretary-General of the parliament, said the induction meeting was designed to communicate with the new representatives, and exchange experiences between the old and the new representatives, pointing out that the staff of the secretariat presented the technical services provided to the Members of Parliament during the meeting.
On the other hand, Ramy Mohsen, Head of the National Centre for Parliamentary Consulting, invited Members of Parliament to re-examine the privileges that may get that would burden the state budget.
During the induction meeting held Tuesday in order to introduce the representative to the nature of parliament work and its legislative and regulatory powers, Mohsen said Article 36 of the Council’s Act states the representative membership facilitations. It also approved a number of privileges such as a first class travel subscription with Egyptian railways and airlines or any means of transportation chosen by the representative..
Mohsen added in his statement that the parliament will fund these privileges from its budget, as these costs will not be included in members’ salaries. The council has also paid the members’ subscriptions in the Tahrir car park from its budget. The total expenses for the representatives reached approximately EGP 1.569m.