Egyptian Parties Approve New Parliamentary Polls Law


 Egyptian political parties approved on Tuesday amendments to the law on elections to the lower chamber of the Egyptian parliament, the People’s Assembly, presidential administration spokesman Yasser Ali said.

The amendments oblige political parties to include women in their party lists, with at least four female candidates mentioned in the first half of the list.

The new election law bars candidates from being nominated for a party list vote and in single-seat constituencies at the same time.

Public control during the election process and the vote count has been enhanced. From now on, members of political parties and public organizations, as well as independent candidates and journalists are entitled to monitor the process and obtain results of the vote count from heads of local polling stations.

The number of People’s Assembly members remains unchanged, at 498.

The amendments came as part of the sixth round of the national dialog and were intended to make the country’s legislation compatible with the new constitution, adopted in late December.

The amendments are to be approved by the country’s government in the next few days. Then they will be submitted for consideration to the Shura Council, the upper chamber of the Egyptian parliament currently vested with the top legislative authority.

The date of elections to the lower house of the Egyptian parliament is to be announced within two months since the approval of the constitution, until late February 2013.

A two-stage referendum on the country’s new constitution was held in Egypt on December 15 and 22. According to the official results, 63.8 percent supported the new constitution and 36.2 percent voted against. President Mohammed Morsi signed the constitution into law shortly after the official results were announced.


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