The House of Representatives gave initial approval on Sunday to a draft law submitted by MP Abdel-Hady El-Qasaby, head of the Support Egypt coalition in parliament, on the formation of a Senate.
MPs asserted that the draft law presented to parliament is in line with Egypt’s constitutional amendments, passed in a public referendum in April 2019.
According to the bill, the Senate will be composed of 300 senators, one-third of whom will be elected under the individual system, one-third by the list system, and the last third by presidential appointment.
The number of Senate seats must be no less than 180, but does not set a maximum, according to Article 250 of the Constitution.
As per the initial draft of the Senate Law, it shall give its opinion in any amendments to the constitution, and the general plan for Egypt’s social and economic development. It will also provide its opinion in all agreements regarding sovereignty rights.
Council members shall be asked their opinion on any topic referred by the president and relating to the state’s general policy, and Arab and foreign policies.
Regarding internal council regulation, the council shall elect a president and two deputies at the first session, with all sessions publicly held. However, the president, prime minister, the Senate speaker, or 20 members have the right to call for holding sessions in secret.
Two-thirds of council members have the final say in whether the proposed topic will be discussed in public or secretly.
Meanwhile, Parliament is due to discuss the state’s general budget next week, according to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal.
During Sunday’s plenary session, he asserted that internal and external obligations necessitate discussing the general budget next week. He called on MPs to take into consideration the exceptional and difficult circumstances the country is going through due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.