House of Representatives (Egypt)
|House of Representatives
|Last election||11 January 2012|
|People's Assembly chamber of the Egyptian Parliament building, Cairo, Egypt|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The House of Representatives (Arabic: مجلس النواب, Maglis Al-Nowwab) is the lower house of Egypt's bicameral parliament. It plays a more important role in drafting legislation and day-to-day legislative duties than the Shura Council, the upper house. The Assembly chose the members of the Constituent Assembly of Egypt.
On 14 June 2012, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that part of the parliamentary election had been invalid and ordered a new ballot, citing alleged problems in the election of members. Based on this ruling, the SCAF military council declared the lower house of parliament dissolved. However, newly elected president Mohammed Mursi decreed that he was setting aside the decision of the military and ordered the legislature to reconvene on 8 July. On 10 July 2012, the Supreme Constitutional Court voided the President's decision to call the nation's parliament back into session. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on 22 September 2012 in favor of the earlier ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court to dissolve the People's Assembly.
- 1 Formation of the Assembly
- 2 Powers
- 3 House of Representatives organization
- 4 Elections
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Formation of the Assembly
The 2014 constitution that will be on the ballot in the 2014 constitutional referendum has put into place the following rules: the House that is elected following the ratification of the constitution must have at least 450 members. In addition, prospective members must be Egyptian, must be at least 25 years old and must hold an education certificate. Also, the president can appoint, at the most, five percent of the members in the chamber.
The House sits for a five-year term but can be dissolved earlier by the president. All seats are voted on in each election. The House of Representatives members are elected by absolute majority of legitimate votes cast.
The People's Assembly may demand the resignation of the cabinet by adopting a motion of censure. For this reason, the Prime Minister of Egypt and his cabinet are necessarily from the dominant party or coalition in the House. When the president and house come from opposing parties (a situation which did arise historically, but not since the 1970s), this would lead to the situation known as cohabitation. While motions of censure are periodically proposed by the opposition following government actions that it deems highly inappropriate, these are purely rhetorical; party discipline ensures that, throughout a parliamentary term, the government is never overthrown by the House.
The House of Representatives has various competences stated in Chapter Five of the Constitution. According to article 86 the House of Representatives shall undertake:
- Review and approval of agreements and treaties
- Review and approval of the State plan and budget
- Oversight of the work of the Executive
- Discussion of the President of the Republic's statement and the government program
- Amendments to the Constitution
- Approval of declarations of war and emergency
In practice, the People's Assembly had very little power prior to the 2011 Egyptian revolution. It was dominated by the National Democratic Party, and there was little substantive opposition to executive decisions.
House of Representatives organization
Speaker of the House
The House of Representatives Speaker (HR Speaker) presides over the House and is elected from the House membership, along with 2 deputies during the first session of the season. The Speaker's role in session is to keep the peace and order to the parliamentary session, take part in discussion provided that he gives up his presidency to one of his deputies and doesn't return to his presidency until the discussion is finished as well as ordering an emergency session for one of the House' committees. In case of vacancy in the President's office, the Speaker serves as acting president until the presidential elections are held (Which must be within 60 days). This has happened once, when president Anwar Sadat was assassinated in office, and then People's Assembly Speaker, Sufi Abu Taleb served as acting president. The last PA Speaker was Saad Al Katatny, who briefly presided the Assembly for only 5 months from 23 January 2012 to the dissolution of parliament in 18 June 2012.
Speaker's Staff Office
The Staff is responsible for organization of the house' and its committees' agendas, the enforcement of the House' orders and is the link between the House and different agencies, ministries and other authorities. The staff consists of the HR speaker and his two deputies.
House' General Committee
This committee is formed in the beginning of the House' annual season, headed by the Speaker. Its membership includes the Deputy Speakers, representatives of the political parties' parliamentary committees, and five House members (of whom one is an independent, if there are more than ten independents). The Speaker is responsible for outlining the committee's agenda. The committee is responsible for discussing the general issues put forward by the president, the prime minister or the speaker.
These 18 committees are:
- Constitutional and Legislation Affairs Committee
- Budget and Planning Committee
- Economical Affairs Committee
- Foreign Relations Committee
- Arab Affairs Committee
- Defense, National Security and Mobilization Committee
- Proposals and Complaints Committee
- Religious, Social and Religious Endowments (Awkaf) Affairs Committee
- Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
- Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
- Housing, Public Utilities and Reconstruction Committee
- Local Government and Public Organizations Committee
- Youth Committee
- Manpower Committee
- Industry and Energy Committee
- Agriculture and Irrigation Committee
- Education and Scientific Research Committee
- Culture, Information and Tourism Committee
This committee is formed in the beginning of the House' annual season, headed by one of the HR speaker deputies. The membership includes the heads of the following committees: Constitutional Affairs and Legislation; Religious, Social and Awkaf Affairs; and Suggestions and Grievances; five members of the General Committee (of whom at least two are from the opposition parties); and five members chosen randomly from the House. This committee is responsible for looking into the violations committed by House members towards the Egyptian society's code of behavior towards religion, social standards, etc.
Ad hoc & Combined Committees
The ad hoc committees are formed by the suggestion of the Speaker or the request of the government to study, debate on a new bill or law, voting on the ratification of a new law or bill or a special issue of concern. The Speaker is responsible on choosing members for this committee. The Combined committees are formed by the request of the Speaker, the government, members of two or more of the specialized committees, with the aim of studying a particular issue of concern. These combined committees are headed by one of the Speaker's deputies. The orders of these committees are issued when a majority vote is achieved.
The Egyptian House of Representatives is the Egyptian representative of the international parliamentary conventions. This chapter aims at developing of mutual relations with international parliaments. The General Assembly of this chapter consists of the entire membership of the House, and headed by the Speaker. The Executive committee of this chapter of the Speaker staff office, three members chosen from the Assembly membership of whom at least one is a member of the opposition parties. The Assembly meets in its chapter form every January. Emergency sessions are held by the request of the executive committee to look into any of additionally outlined issues of concern.
|Party||Ideology||Votes||Vote %||PR Seats||FPTP Seats||Total Seats||Component Parties|
|Democratic Alliance for Egypt
(led by the Freedom and Justice Party)
|10,138,134||37.5||127||108||235||Freedom & Justice Party: 213
Dignity Party: 6
Ghad El-Thawra Party: 2
Civilization Party: 2
Islamic Labour Party: 1
Egyptian Arab Socialist Party: 1
Egyptian Reform Party: 1
Affiliated Independents 9
(led by Al-Nour Party)
|Islamist - Salafi||7,534,266||27.8||96||25
|Al-Nour Party: 107
Building & Development Party: 13
Authenticity Party: 3
|New Wafd Party||National liberal||2,480,391||9.2||37||4||41|
|Egyptian Bloc||Social liberal||2,402,238||8.9||33||2
|Social Democratic Party: 16
Free Egyptians Party: 15
Progressive Unionist Party: 4
|Al-Wasat Party||Moderate Islamist||989,003||3.7||10||0||10|
|The Revolution Continues Alliance||Leftist||745,863||2.8||7||2||9||Socialist Popular Alliance Party: 7
Freedom Egypt Party: 1
Equality & Development Party: 1
|Reform and Development Party||Liberal||604,415||2.2||8||1||9|
|Freedom Party||NDP offshoot||514,029||1.9||4||0||4|
|National Party of Egypt||NDP offshoot||425,021||1.6||4||1||5|
|Egyptian Citizen Party||NDP offshoot||235,395||0.9||3||1||4|
|Union Party||NDP offshoot||141,382||0.5||2||0||2|
|Conservative Party||NDP offshoot||272,910||1.0||0||1||1|
|Democratic Peace Party||NDP offshoot||248,281||0.9||1||0||1|
|Arab Egyptian Unity Party||NDP offshoot||149,253||0.6||1||0||1|
|Total elected||elected MPs||27,065,135||100.00||332||166||498|
|SCAF appointees||non-elected MPs||-||-||-||-||10|
|Parties||Votes||%||2010 Seats||2005 Seats||Net Change||Seats
|National Democratic Party (Al'Hizb Al Watani Al Democrati)||420||330||90||81.0%|
|New Wafd Party (Hizb al-Wafd-al-Jadid)||6||5||1||1.1%|
|Progressive National Unionist Party (Hizb al Tagammo' al Watani al Taqadommi al Wahdawi)||5||1||4||0.9%|
|Tomorrow Party (Hizb al-Ghad)||1||1||0||0.2%|
|Arab Democratic Nasserist Party or Nasserist Party||0||0||0||0.0%|
|Liberal Party (Hizb al-Ahrar)||0||0||0||0.0%|
|Social Justice Party (Hizb Al-'Adala al- Ijtima'iyya)||1||-||1||0.2%|
|Democratic Generation Party (Hizb El-Geel al-Democrati)||1||-||1||0.2%|
|Democratic Peace Party (Hizb El-Salaam al-Democrati)||1||-||1||0.2%|
|Independents (Muslim Brotherhood - al-ikhwān al-muslimūn)||1||88||−87||0.2%|
|Still in contest||4|
|Total (turnout %)||518|
- New Political Showdown in Egypt as Court Invalidates Parliament
- Egypt's president orders return of parliament
- Watson, Ivan. "Court overrules Egypt's president on parliament". CNN. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- "Egypt Islamists slam parliament's death knell,liberals celebrate". Ahram Online. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
- "Egypt's new constitution to be passed to president on Tuesday, opening the way for presidential elections first". Ahram Online. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Essam El-Din, Gamal (23 Jan 2012). "Egypt's post-Mubarak legislative life begins amid tension and divisions". ahramonline.
- السنهوري, محمد (21 Jan 2012). "«العليا» تعلن نتائج قوائم «الشعب».. الحرية والعدالة 127 مقعدًا والنور 96 و«الكتلة» 33".
- ممدوح شعبان وسعاد طنطاوي وعلي محمد علي. "النتائج النهائية لانتخابات مجلس الشعب". al-ahram.
- El-Din, Gamal Essam (22-28 December 2011), "Islamists consolidate their lead", Al-Ahram Weekly, retrieved 25 January 2012
- El-Din, Gamal Essam (23 January 2012), "Egypt's post-Mubarak legislative life begins amid tension and divisions", Ahram Online, retrieved 25 January 2012