The observations on the draft Protest Law put forward by political parties were referred to the cabinet for discussion, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation Ziad Bahaa El-Din.
The National Defence Council said last Sunday that the cabinet will receive suggestions regarding the draft Protest Law for a week of “societal dialogue” and that the law would be issued after reviewing these suggestions. The draft law has, meanwhile, stirred criticism from a number of political and human rights movements.
Bahaa El-Din said on Saturday that meetings on the draft law were held with 15 political parties, reported state-run news agency MENA. He added that it is not “wrong” for the cabinet to withdraw the draft and invite political parties to a dialogue regarding it.
The State Council’s legislative section was scheduled to begin legally and constitutionally revising the draft Protest Law on Saturday, reported state-run Al-Ahram. The revision is to see whether the bill complies with general constitutional principles which govern the right to peaceful protesting. The revision of the bill had been reportedly postponed until societal dialogue over the draft law was over.
Bahaa El-Din admitted he “had reservations” regarding “certain articles” of the draft law, reported MENA. He said it doesn’t make sense for the cabinet to discuss a draft law for seven hours and reach consensus.
The Revolutionary Front called for a protest at Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo on Saturday evening to denounce the draft law.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the draft protest law on Thursday. The rights group said that after receiving a copy of the draft, it was “surprised that the features of the law that have been published in the Egyptian newspapers and media … don’t mention the articles that have defects.”
The draft law has already received criticism from 17 non-governmental organisations that believe the law aims to create a permanent state of emergency. There has also been criticism from the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and Amnesty International.
The draft Protest Law was approved by the cabinet and referred to interim President Adly Mansour for ratification on 10 October. The interim president is yet to ratify it for the law to come into effect.