Egypt’s House of Representatives held an opening procedural session, on Tuesday, in which newly elected members swore the constitutional oath and elected a speaker and two deputies.
As the current eldest member in the House, the renowned journalist Fadia El-Shobashy chaired the opening session.
El-Shobashy was aided by two deputies, MPs Fatma Ahmed and Abanoub Ezzat, as the two youngest members of the House.
During the event, she noted that it is the first time for a woman to chair an opening parliamentary session in Egypt.
“It is a big honour for me, and for all women in Egypt, and it shows that women are playing a greater political role in Egypt now,” El-Shobashy said.
In accordance with the Constitution, each of the 596 newly elected MPs will take the oath as follows, “I swear by almighty God to honestly preserve the republican system, respect the constitution and the law and that fully observe the interests of the people, and preserve the homeland’s independence, unity and the integrity of its land.”
During the session, she read the presidential decree of 6 January, asking the House of Representatives to hold an opening procedural session to take the constitutional oath, and elect a speaker and two deputies.
Whilst the voting process for the speaker and deputies took place in secrecy, the session itself was broadcasted. The former President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Hanafi Jabali, was elected as the new speaker of the House of Representatives.
Once elected, Jabali delivered a speech praising former MPs for their efforts during the difficult circumstances Egypt faced due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He also praised the great efforts made by Egypt’s healthcare workers, who stand on the frontlines against the pandemic, and their hard work in protecting Egyptian citizens.
He added that the new parliament is required to exert every effort to keep pace with the accomplishments of its predecessor.
Jabali also stressed the need for solidarity and cooperation to achieve the public interest, demanding that differences in opinion would be a way to reach the best solutions for Egypt’s interests, and those of its citizens.
The MPs will also meet in two plenary sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, to elect the leading posts for the Egyptian Parliament’s 25 specialised committees.
The Wednesday session will be held to open the door to MPs wishing to run for the committee posts. Each MP will also have to elect a Chairperson, two Deputies and one Secretary-General for each committee. On Thursday, MPs will meet to take note of the final lists of members for each committee.