Two controversial laws have passed from the State Council’s legislative revision department to be looked into by the House of Representatives. The council said Saturday that it revised the law on the construction of churches and the Civil Service law, state-media reported.
The first is a draft law submitted by the government after much back and forth dialogue with the three major Egyptian churches over restrictions imposed on the licensing of churches. The law is to be discussed inside the parliament, which is required by the constitution in order to issue it before the end of the parliament’s first legislative year.
As for the Civil Service law, it was approved by the parliament already despite objections from some members of parliament, namely the 25-30 Coalition and employees of the public sector.
Among other debated laws, state-run news agency MENA quoted on Saturday Ahmed Aboul Azm, head of the State Council’s legislative department, saying that the media and press law “will take time”.
Head of the Press Syndicate Yehia Qalash addressed speaker of the House Ali Abdul Aal regarding the law. According to MENA, Qalash demanded that the law be issued quickly, and to take into consideration remarks sent by the syndicate and the Supreme Press Council on some articles that the government introduced to the draft law, “without consultation [of the concerned parties]”.
The unified media and press law was a project drafted by the press and media community, with the participation of Abdul Aal himself as part of the team of legal and constitutional affairs experts. The draft approved by the press community lifts restrictions on the imprisonment of journalists in publishing crimes.
The State Council is tasked with the legal and constitutional revision of laws submitted by the cabinet of ministers and the parliament.