CAIRO: Egypt is set to hold elections for chambers of commerce board members nationwide on June 23.
A total of 292 candidates are vying for the 193 available seats, and will hold the post for a four-year term
The process will begin after appeals committee screenings and approval procedures are completed, along with a performance evaluation of the current members’ previous term, assessing their contribution to the development of domestic trade.
A committee met three times over the past two weeks to decide on the appeals of prospective candidates who were denied inclusion in the candidates’ lists, and resolve complaints filed against them.
According to Mohamed Abu Shadi, head of the internal trade department at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the committee received 59 appeal requests from 10 chambers of commerce offices in governorates including Giza, Menufiya, Upper Egypt and the Red Sea. These candidates were initially rejected by the elections committee in their respective governorates for not meeting certain criteria.
“The legal requirements are to ensure that the board members running for elections are capable of representing the local governorates as financial and trade ambassadors across the country and even abroad,” Abu Shadi explained.
“Legal requirements include being over the age of 25 and having the ability to read and write,” Abu Shadi added. “Examination and review of legal requirements…resulted in the eligibility of 43 candidates to contest the election and the non-eligibility of the eight candidates who were therefore excluded from the electoral roll,” he added.
Abu Shadi announced the winners of eight uncontested chambers of commerce in Alexandria, Qaliubiya, Port Said, Beni Suef, Assiut, South Sinai and Fayoum.
Come election day, 111 voting stations will be set up nationwide.
The results of the performance evaluations will be used to formulate more efficient plans and budgets for the next term.
A working group was formed by the trade ministry to complete the assessment process, said Hisham Ragab, advisor to the minister. “These evaluations will be based on reports of achievements sent by each chambers at the request of the minister, and evaluation results will be discussed in the first meeting of the new session by the General Union of Chambers of Commerce,” added Ragab.
“This will include the expenditure budgets of each chamber and will be used to develop a clear vision and specific role of chambers of commerce in the modernization of internal trade in the light of the minister’s plan,” Ragab concluded.