Friday,20 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1316, (20 - 26 October 2016)
Friday,20 October, 2017
Issue 1316, (20 - 26 October 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Support Egypt sweeps parliamentary committees

The Support Egypt Coalition secures leading posts on many of parliament’s 25 committees. Gamal Essam El-Din reports

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Al-Ahram Weekly

The pro-Sisi Support Egypt bloc, a parliamentary coalition with more than 300 MPs, won the lion's share of leading posts on parliament's 25 committees this week.

Under parliamentary by-laws elections for committee heads, two deputies and one secretary must be held the beginning of each legislative season.

Monday’s polls were supervised by deputy speakers Soliman Wahdan and Mahmoud Al-Sherif.

The results, announced on Monday evening, showed Support Egypt had won a majority of posts.

Former information minister Osama Heikal was re-elected head of the Media, Culture and Antiquities Committee. Heikal won unopposed.

Alexandrian businesswoman and Support Egypt member Sahar Mustafa was elected head of the Tourism and Civil Aviation with 11 votes. Her closest rival, MP Amr Sedki, got nine.

Support Egypt official Ahmed Samir becomes the new head of the Industry Committee. Samir replaces businessman Mohamed Al-Seweidi who now heads the Support Egypt Coalition.

Industrialist and Support Egypt member Mohamed Farag Amer was elected head of the Youth and Sports Committee. Amer is also the chair of Alexandria's Semouha Sporting Club.

Former foreign minister and Support Egypt official Mohamed Al-Orabi failed to be re-elected as head of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He is replaced by Ahmed Said, a former chairman of the Free Egyptians Party, who won 16 votes. Al-Orabi clinched just five.

Saad Al-Gammal, former chairman of the Support Egypt bloc, was re-elected head of the Arab Affairs Committee. A one-time leading official of Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) Al-Gammal is well known for his anti-Western positions and regularly denounces what he terms “America's interventionist policies in the Arab world and the Middle East". He has demanded former US president George W Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair be tried as war criminals for invading Iraq.

Appointed MP and Support Egypt official Hussein Eissa was re-elected chairman of the Budget and Planning Committee. Eissa, a professor of commerce and former president of Ain Shams University, was unopposed.

Chairman of the Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions Gibali Al-Maraghi was re-elected head of the Labour Committee.

Hammam Al-Adli, another Support Egypt official, retains his position as chair of the Proposals and Complaints Committee. Mohamed Ali Youssef, a leading Support Egypt MP, was elected head of the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Industries Committee. He stood unopposed.

Support Egypt member Alaa Wali, a construction magnate, is the new head of the Housing, Public Utilities and Reconstruction Committee. Wali received 24 votes, one more than the committee's former chairman Moataz Mohamed Mahmoud. Said Teima, another Support Egypt official, was elected as head of the Transport and Telecommunications Committee.

Independent MP Nidal Al-Said becomes head of the Telecommunications and Technology Transfer Committee. Al-Said defeated IT expert May Al-Batran, the committee's former head. Al-Said and Al-Batran are both Support Egypt members.

Osama Al-Abd and Abdel-Hadi Al-Qasabi were re-elected heads of the Religious and Social Solidarity Committees respectively. Al-Abd is a former president of the Al-Azhar University. Al-Qasabi is president of the Supreme Council of Sufi Movements.

Alaa Abed, parliamentary spokesperson of the Free Egyptians Party, was elected unopposed as head of the Human Rights Committee.  He replaces Anwar Al-Sadat who resigned in August after accusing parliament speaker Abdel-Aal of not doing enough to support the work of the committee. Abdel-Aal responded by accusing Sadat of exploiting his post as head of the committee to promote the agendas of foreign human rights organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Hesham Al-Sheini, another Free Egyptians Party MP, was elected head of the Agriculture, Irrigation, Food Security and Animal Wealth Committee.

The Wafd Party, which has 36 MPs, won the chairmanship of three committees. Bahaa Eddin Abu Shoqa was re-elected as head of the influential Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Abu Shoqa, a high-profile lawyer, won unopposed after Support Egypt official Alaa Abdel-Moneim withdrew from the race. Ahmed Al-Sigini, Shoqa's deputy, was re-elected head of the Local Administration Committee and businessman Talaat Al-Seweidi retained his position as head of the Energy and Environment Committee.

The chairs of the remaining committees were divided among low-profile political parties.

Kamal Amer, a former head of Defence and National Security Committee and parliamentary spokesman of the pro-Sisi Guardians of the Nation Party was re-elected as chair of the committee. Magdi Morshed, deputy chairman of the Congress Party, won the chairmanship of the Health Committee.

Gamal Shiha, an MP affiliated with the 25-30 leftist bloc, was re-elected head of the Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Committee. Shiha is a professor at Mansoura University.

Mostafa Al-Guindi, a leftist-oriented independent MP, is the new head of the African Affairs Committee. Al-Guindi, a member of the 25-30 group, is a businessman with extensive ties to African countries.

Independent MP Ali Al-Moselhi – a Mubarak-era minister of social solidarity – was re-elected chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee.

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