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Parliament to discuss political exclusion draft law Wednesday

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: The People’s Assembly’s (PA) legislation and constitution committee gave initial approval ahead of the discussion of the political exclusion draft law at the PA’s late session on Tuesday. Lawmaker Essam Sultan from Al-Wasat Party presented a political exclusion draft law, barring officials of the former regime from practicing politics. Last Sunday as …

DNE

MPs push for no-confidence vote as PA continues to slam gov’t report

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) criticized the government’s first annual report for its lack of vision and plan during the transitional period and its failure to propose urgent solutions to the ongoing crises as it continued to discuss the report Monday. Some MPs implied that the discussion has dragged on more than needed, …

DNE

Egypt lawmaker presents political exclusion draft law

By Mai Shams El-Din CAIRO: Lawmaker Essam Sultan said Sunday he presented a political exclusion draft law, barring officials of the former regime from practicing politics, as former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman registered his candidacy for the presidential race. The final list of candidates will be announced on April 26, leaving almost no time for parliament …

DNE

Tug of war over Constituent Assembly escalates

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Head of the Journalists’ Syndicate, Mamdouh El-Wali said Saturday that the syndicate adheres to its decision to withdraw from the Constituent Assembly, describing the withdrawal as a national duty. According to the official Middle East News Agency (MENA), the syndicate will only back-peddle on its decision if Al-Azhar and the Church and …

DNE

People’s Assembly slams government report

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Egypt’s lawmakers slammed the government’s first annual report to parliament, which was presented by Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury on Feb. 26. Parliament convened Sunday to resume discussion of a PA committee report on the Cabinet’s statement, devoting five sessions to the subject, which many see as a step towards a no-confidence …

DNE

Dispute over Constituent Assembly reaches stalemate

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: While members of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the constitution believe abiding by Al-Azhar’s document would solve the controversy over the assembly’s make-up, members who have withdrawn, however, say it is not enough. Key members of the 100-member assembly said in their second meeting Wednesday that the only way out of …

DNE

Ministers walk out of PA session upon corruption allegations

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: Accusations of government corruption by an MP Thursday triggered a walkout by ministers who left the PA session in objection. Commenting on the government’s annual report, MP Ashraf Badreldin alleged that ministers pocket money from special funds. “There are no measures to combat corruption in the management of special funds,” said the …

DNE

Parliament, government disagree on IMF loan

By Aya Batrawy / AP CAIRO: An International Monetary Fund team was due to leave Cairo Wednesday without securing an agreement over a $3.2 billion loan to help boost the nation’s battered economy. Holding up the deal was political wrangling between the Islamist-dominated parliament and the government, an arm of the ruling military. Economists say Egypt …

DNE

PA ends session due to government no-show

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: People’s Assembly Speaker Saad El-Katatny ended Wednesday’s session shortly after it started because Cabinet ministers were absent. “I’m telling the government and the Egyptian people that the [PA] you voted for is capable of withdrawing the confidence from the government and determining the responsibilities of the prime minister,” said El-Katatny. The Freedom …

DNE

Katatny urges swifter response to government from PA committee

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Parliament speaker Saad El-Katatny urged a People’s Assembly committee during Monday’s session to present its response to the government’s statement by the end of this week for discussion, a step believed to be geared towards a no-confidence vote. MP Hatem Azzam, representing the Civilization Party, questioned why it was taking the PA’s …

DNE

Parliament offers condolences on Pope Shenouda’s passing

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Members of Parliament stood for a minute of silence to mourn the passing of Pope Shenouda III, after offering their condolences to the Egyptian people during Monday’s session. Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria passed away on Saturday at the age of 88. His body is placed on the papal throne in the …

DNE

NGO calls for annulling parliament legitimacy after seizing half of constituent Assembly

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: The Lawyers’ Union for Legal Studies and Democracy called upon political parties, civil society organizations, syndicates and individuals to withdraw legitimacy from both houses of the parliament and the Constituent Assembly that will draft the constitution, claiming they are unconstitutional. The People’s Assembly and the Shoura Council decided that 50 percent of …

DNE

Parliament to approve final criteria of Constituent Assembly Saturday

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Elected MPs of both houses of parliament are to hold a joint meeting Saturday to agree on the final criteria for electing members of the Constituent Assembly that would draft the constitution in accordance with the 353 proposals received so far. By March 8, the parliament’s general secretariat had gathered all the …

DNE

Bonfire of the banalities

By Philip Whitfield CAIRO: Grace and pace they have not. Filibuster and bluster they’re full of. Can you believe the new crop of rags-to-riches whistle-stoppers are turning down a billion US dollars and some because their pride is hurt? More likely they’ve been tipped off the US aid package to Egypt will end up as small …

DNE

PA calls for expelling Israeli ambassador

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) committee for Arab affairs called Monday for expelling the Israeli ambassador in Egypt and recalling the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv, in condemnation of Israel’s “barbaric crimes” against the Palestinians. The call came as Israeli warplanes pounded anew the Gaza Strip raising the death toll from four days …

DNE

PA seeks to withdraw confidence from Ganzoury government

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: The People’s Assembly will take steps towards withdrawing confidence from Egypt’s government, parliament speaker Saad El-Katatny said during Sunday’s session. After listening to statements from the ministers of international cooperation, aviation and justice regarding the NGO trial, El-Katatny asked MPs to vote on withdrawing confidence from Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury’s government. Forty-three …

DNE

MPs call for dismissal of Egypt’s int’l cooperation minister

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: A number of parliamentarians used a sharp tone on Sunday against Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury’s government and called for the dismissal of Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Aboul Naga, after a travel ban was lifted on the foreigners in the NGOs trial, allowing them to leave the country. Aboul Naga is known …

DNE

Joint parliamentary session failed to reach concrete decisions, say analysts

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Analysts criticized Saturday’s joint session of the People’s Assembly and Shoura Council for failing to reach concrete decisions as political powers remain divided over selecting the members of the constituent assembly. The joint session Saturday was meant to discuss criteria for selecting members of the constituent assembly, who will then draft Egypt’s …

DNE

Parliament to probe ‘interference’ in NGO foreigners travel ban

By Agencies CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament is to probe and “hold accountable” anyone who intervened to allow foreign activists on trial to leave the country, the speaker of the house said on Saturday. Saad Al-Katatni, the speaker of the People’s Assembly, said parliament would summon Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury on March 11 to explain the decision …

DNE

Egypt lawmakers to appoint constitutional panel March 24

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s People’s Assembly and Shoura Council will appoint a panel to draft a new constitution on March 24, the speaker said on Saturday, in what will likely be a tug of war between the dominant Islamists and liberals. Members of both houses will hold several joint sessions to discuss the criteria for …

DNE

Political parties debate no-confidence vote against Egypt government

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Political parties and figures are divided over a possible no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury’s government. Several parties, including the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which holds around 47 percent of the seats in the People’s Assembly, are considering passing a no-confidence vote against the Cabinet of Ministers. “Either the …

DNE

PA approves amendments on Articles 30, 38 in presidential elections law

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: The People’s Assembly gave its initial approval of amendments to Articles 30 and 38 of the presidential elections law, to guarantee the transparency and integrity of the elections and its results. The amendments will be referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court to decide whether they are constitutional or not within 15 days. …

DNE

PA rejects request to refer Bakry to special committee

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Parliament voted Monday against referring independent MP Mostafa Bakry to a special committee for calling Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei a foreign “agent.” PA Speaker Mohamed Saad El-Katatny said that this decision didn’t represent an opinion against ElBaradei, who’s a valued Egyptian citizen who has received the Order of the Nile. “The PA …

DNE

PM reiterates economic challenges in annual report to parliament

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: The prime minister reiterated to parliament Sunday previous statements about Egypt’s worsening economic conditions, less than a week after the party controlling the majority criticized the government’s failure. In the government’s first annual report to the recently elected parliament, Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury said that Western and Arab countries haven’t honored their …

DNE

Parliament to meet to elect constitution body March 3

By Dina Zayed / Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s military rulers invited parliament’s two houses to convene on Saturday to elect an assembly tasked with writing the country’s first constitution since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. A tug-of-war has already begun over the shape of the future document that will define the balance of power between the army-backed …

DNE

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