Political parties continued to submit proposals for drafting the new parliamentary elections law while President Mohamed Morsy held a series of dialogue sessions regarding the law.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has been promoting a law similar to the one enforced during last years’ parliamentary elections; the party called for a law which retains bloc voting for two-thirds of the seats while the remaining one-third is elected via party-list proportional representations.
Walid Haddad, a senior member of the FJP, said, “this is the regulation set in the new constitution. We would only want to have this law again because it regulates the parliamentary elections as per the recently-passed binding constitution.” He added that all proposals are still being examined and debated. “We will have to wait and see what comes out of the president’s dialogue sessions,” he said.
Article 231 of the new constitution reads, “two-thirds of seats in the House of Representatives will be elected under the party-based list system, while the remaining third will be governed by the individual candidacy system.”
Shura Council is responsible for passing the new parliamentary elections law; according to Article 230 of the constitution, Shura Council “shall take charge of the power of legislation once the constitution goes into effect and until a new House of Representatives is elected.”
On Saturday, Morsy addressed the council, asserting the importance of holding dialogue sessions in order to include different political parties in legislative process.
“There must be a national dialogue on the amendments of this law so that they gain the satisfaction of all political parties and the upcoming House of Representatives comes expressive of the true will of the people,” he said.
The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt’s largest opposition bloc, proposed the elections be based on proportional lists only and one female candidate should be placed among the top four names of the list. The proposal included banning members of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) from being part of the list. It also called for considering a fair geographic distribution while establishing the electoral constituencies.
The NSF boycotted the president’s sixth dialogue session that took place Sunday in protest of passing the new constitution. NSF’s spokespersons were not available for comment.
The Al-Wasat Islamist party recommended a change in the definition of the candidates who represent workers and farmers. It also suggested that the number of parliamentary seats assigned to each governorate equate the “weight” of each city. Belal Sayed, a member of the party’s executive board, explained: “For example, Cairo is a large governorate, so we need to have more seats that represent the capital.”
Hossam Al-Din Ali, secretary general of Ghad Al-Thawra Party, said the law must oblige the SEC to facilitate the voting process of persons with disabilities and ensure that elections will be monitored by international institutions to achieve transparency and integrity.
Shura Council scheduled a meeting on Wednesday to discuss proposed amendments of the elections law.