Friday,14 December, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)
Friday,14 December, 2018
Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Support Egypt wins parliamentary control

Led by the Future of Homeland Party, the Support Egypt Coalition now dominates parliament’s 25 committees, writes Gamal Essam El-Din

 

Support Egypt wins parliamentary control
Support Egypt wins parliamentary control

Members of the pro-government Support Egypt parliamentary coalition, led by the Future of Homeland Party, now head 18 of parliament's 25 committees.

Alaa Abed, chair of parliament’s Human Rights Committee and deputy head of the Future of Homeland Party, told Al-Ahram Weekly that party members won the majority of leading posts on parliamentary committees.

“The only committees we don’t head are Defence and National Security, Legislative and Constitutional Affairs, Media, Culture and Antiquities, Manpower, Complaints and Proposals, Budget and Planning and Energy and Environment,” said Abed.

Bahaaeddin Abu Shokka and Talaat Al-Sewedy – both members of the Wafd Party, were elected chairmen of the Legislative Committee and the Energy Committee respectively, while independent MPs head the remaining committees.

Al-Ahram political analyst Amr Hashem Rabie says the Future of the Homeland has now emerged as the leading parliamentary grouping and will effectively control parliamentary business.

Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal told MPs in a plenary session on 3 October that committee elections were competitive. “The secret ballot took a long time because the competition was so strong,” said Abdel-Aal.

No women succeeded in being elected to head a committee. Sahar Talaat Mostafa, the outgoing chair of the Tourism Committee, decided not to stand, paving the way for Amr Sedki to win uncontested.

Sherine Farrag, an environmental affairs expert, contested the Energy and Environment Committee but lost to Talaat Al-Sewedy. Dina Abdel-Aziz stood as chair of the Youth Committee and was defeated by Ashraf Rashad.

“Women lost because the Support Egypt Bloc refused to nominate any. It’s that simple,” says Rabie.

Osama Heikal, a former minister of information, faced strong competition from independent MP and TV anchor Galal Awara. “It is the first time Heikal has failed to win uncontested. It is a sign he has lost popularity among MPs,” says Rabie.

The list of Support Egypt winners includes Alexandria businessman and industrialist Farag Amer, the new head of the Industry Committee. Abdel-Hadi Al-Qasabi, head of the Support Egypt Coalition and deputy head of the Future of Homeland Party, was re-elected head of the Social Solidarity Committee unopposed. Tarek Radwan, former head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was elected head of the African Affairs Committee. Alaa Wali, a Giza governorate MP, was elected head of the Housing Committee, Hisham Abdel-Wahed heads the Transport Committee and Ahmed Samir, the former head of the Industry Committee, moves to the Economic Affairs Committee. Gibali Al-Maraghi, head of the General Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions, was re-elected head of the Manpower Committee.

High-profile MPs who were  re-elected include Kamal Amer, a former chief of Military Intelligence, as head of the Defence and National Security Committee; Ahmed Raslan as head of the Arab Affairs Committee; Wafd Party Chairman and lawyer Bahaaeddin Abu Shokka as head of the Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee; Alaa Abed, deputy head of the Future of Homeland Party, as head of the Human Rights Committee; Ashraf Rashad, a leading member of the Future of the Homeland Party, as head of the Youth and Sports Committee and independent MP Hisham Al-Sheini as head of the Agriculture Committee.

Ahmed Al-Sigini, secretary-general of the Support Egypt Coalition, was re-elected head of the Local Administration Committee. Hammam Al-Adli, an independent MP, was re-elected head of the Complaints and Proposals Committee. Sami Hashem becomes the new head of the Education and Scientific Research Committee. Physician Mohamed Al-Emari was re-elected head of the Health Committee; Ahmed Badawi as head of the Telecommunications Committee and Hussein Eissa, former head of Ain Shams University, was re-elected chairman of the Budget and Planning Committee.

Karim Darwish, a leading member of the Support Egypt Coalition, is the new head of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Kamal Marei was re-elected head of the Middle and Small-scale Enterprises Committee.

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