Monday,23 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1314, (6 - 12 October 2016)
Monday,23 October, 2017
Issue 1314, (6 - 12 October 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Syndicate under guardianship

A court has placed the Commercial Professions Syndicate under judicial guardianship and ordered its 24-year-old executive board dissolved, reports Ahmed Morsy

Al-Ahram Weekly

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters last week ordered the executive board of the Commercial Professions Syndicate to be disbanded and placed its headquarters in Cairo’s Nasr City under judicial guardianship.

A lawsuit was filed against the syndicate by its legal auditor and syndicate board member Hamdi Abdel-Fattah who asked the court to dismiss the syndicate board because it had over-stayed its official term. The last board elections were held in 1992. The elections of the syndicate have been overdue for 20 years. According to its bylaws, executive board elections should take place every four years.

Abdel-Fattah told the daily Al-Shorouk that during those 20 years many of the elected board members in the central and provincial levels died and were replaced by appointed members in violation of the syndicate’s bylaws. According to the lawsuit there was “a slackening in the syndicate to hold new elections without giving reasons”.

In the lawsuit, Abdel-Fattah also asked for judicial guardianship due to the existence of “financial violations involving the squandering of public money”. The court ruling followed reports from the Central Auditing Authority that alleged evidence of “financial irregularities” within the syndicate.

The court ruling applies to the general syndicate in Nasr City in addition to its 23 branch syndicates in other governorates. The ruling can be appealed.

Head of the syndicate Essam Abdel-Fattah said it will appeal the ruling and had assigned its lawyer to take all the necessary legal procedures.

The syndicate held an emergency meeting on Wednesday last week to discuss the mechanisms and legal steps that could be taken against the ruling.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party expressed concern about imposing judicial guardianship on the syndicate by a court ruling which it said contradicts Article 77 of the Egyptian constitution.

Articles 76 and 77 of the 2014 constitution safeguards the rights of professional associations. “The state shall guarantee the independence of syndicates and unions,” Article 76 stipulates. “Their boards of directors may not be dissolved without a court order.” Article 77 stipulates: “No sequestration shall be imposed… [nor] intervention from administrative authorities permitted… executive boards may not be dissolved except by court order.”

The party’s Professionals Secretariat said in a press statement that “imposing guardianship on the syndicate is an attempt to return to a past era”. It also demanded the concerned authorities to “swiftly” call for a general assembly of the syndicate to elect a new head and executive board.

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