Ahly's two-goal hero Sherif hails team effort after Cairo derby win    Egypt to implement 30k small, micro projects over 5 years    Sherif double gives depleted Ahly win over Zamalek in entertaining derby    We did what we wanted to do in the derby, says Ahly coach Mosimane    Egypt's FM embarks on African tour to brief states on GERD updates    New zinc-fortified wheat set for global expansion to combat malnutrition    Ethiopia to commence 2nd Nile dam filling in July as Egypt, Sudan seek UN help    Moderna vaccine antibodies last at least 6 months; lung transplant can save some COVID-19 survivors    Egypt, World Bank discuss strengthening private sector partnerships    Egypt, Greece discuss bilateral relations, regional issues    Egypt's Al-Sisi directs for all citizens to receive proper healthcare: Madbouly    Social Solidarity Minister attends Egyptian Food Bank ceremony as part of 'Iftar Saem' Campaign    97 injured as train derails in Banha en route to Mansoura: Health Ministry    Grand Egyptian Museum is world's most important cultural project: Zahi Hawass    In Photos: The dome of Al-Imam Al-Shafei Mosque inaugurated after restoration    Banque Misr provides Finlease an EGP 200 mn medium-term facility    Egypt's holding of US Treasuries was stable for third consecutive month    Fighting rages in two Yemeni provinces    Al-Sisi reviews housing programmes, Historic Cairo development project    Egypt's non-oil exports up 6% in Q1 2021: Trade Ministry    Beni Suef diocese first to fully suspend Holy Week prayers over Covid concerns    France's Macron says 'clear red lines' should be drawn with Russia    Germany promises help for local staff amid Afghan withdrawal    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    'No Sweets': For Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a tough Ramadan    British University in Egypt provides wind turbines to generate electricity for Egyptian countryside    Sudan wants legally binding agreement on Ethiopia's Nile Dam, not war: Al-Burhan    Egyptian architects win UNESCO competition to rebuild Mosul's Al-Nouri Mosque    'El-Malek' series resumes filming following outcry    Egypt's Cultural Development Fund begins Ramadan programme    Egypt urges dissuading Ethiopia from taking unilateral action on GERD in letter to UNSC    Sisi stresses to Djibouti president importance of reaching GERD settlement to avoid regional instability    We will resort to international community after all GERD negotiations finish: Egypt FM    10 emerging writers receive $50,000 Whiting Awards    J.K. Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' out in October    Turkey to send delegation to Egypt in May, its foreign minister says    Egypt condemns continued attacks by Yemen's Houthi militias towards Saudi territory    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    Fans allowed at opening match of UEFA EURO 2020: Italy    Egypt halts traditional amateur football tournaments during Ramadan    Al Ahly get ready for fierce league clash against Zamalek    Russian FM says Egypt is main partner in Middle East, Africa    Egypt sees an uptick in new coronavirus infections registers 801 new cases on Saturday    PMI moves towards a smoke-free transformation, takes part in a webinar on e-cigarettes    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Senate prepares for its first session
Published in Ahram Online on 23 - 02 - 2021

The 292-article internal bylaws regulating the Senate — Egypt's consultative second chamber — were approved by the House of Representatives on 16 February. The bylaws, expected to be ratified by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and published in the official gazette this week, will allow the newly-elected 300-member Senate to hold its first plenary meetings early next month.
Senate Deputy Speaker and Wafd Party head Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka told reporters on Monday he expects the Senate to hold its first plenary meeting on 7 March.
“Senators were asked to come on Sunday and Monday this week to say which of the Senate's 14 committees they wish to join,” said Abu Shoka. “They are allowed to select two committees. Elections will then be held for the leading posts — a chairman, two deputies and one secretary-general — of each committee.”
The Senate's General Committee and the Ethics Committee also have to be formed ahead of any plenary meetings. According to Abu Shoka, “all these steps will be taken within the coming two weeks so that the Senate can hold its first session on 7 March.”
Article 155 of the bylaws sets a quorum of 200 senators for meetings to be valid. Article 164 allows the Senate to hold closed meetings at the request of the president, the prime minister, the speaker or a minimum of 20 senators, to discuss issues related to sovereign interests or listen to statements and clarifications on decisions related to significant domestic and foreign policies.
Article 234 controversially requires parliamentarians, be they MPs or senators, to secure the speaker's approval before travelling abroad, a provision that some argue contravenes the constitution.
MP Freddy Al-Bayadi says Article 62 of the constitution clearly states that citizens, including parliamentarians, can be banned from travelling abroad only after a final judicial ruling.
Ashraf Rashad, parliamentary spokesperson of the majority Mostaqbal Watan Party, argued it was fully within the rights of the Senate speaker to reject parliamentarians' requests to travel to “certain countries”, a euphemism commonly applied to Turkey and Qatar.
“This is necessary to prevent senators and MPs from participating in conferences attacking Egypt,” said Rashad.
House Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saadeddin said the stipulation aimed to prevent parliamentarians from visiting countries hostile to Egypt and that in the past “deputies had travelled abroad to illegally obtain money from foreign organisations or give interviews to hostile television channels.”
Senators who travel abroad on the chamber's request or for specific missions are not required to seek a prior approval.
MPs voted down a controversial article allowing payments to senators to be tax-exempt.
Parliament Speaker Hanafi Gibali had argued that the text of Article 284 exempting senators' salaries from tax should be removed.
“All citizens, including MPs and senators, should be on an equal footing in terms of paying taxes and fees,” said Gibali. “MPs and senators need to send the message that they are committed to social equality and like ordinary citizens are ready to shoulder their tax burdens.”
Article 284 now states that senators will receive a basic monthly salary of LE5,000, that the Senate speaker receive a salary on par with the prime minister, and the speaker's two deputies on par with cabinet ministers.
Mostaqbal Watan Spokesperson Rashad said he will propose an amendment to the House of Representatives' bylaws cancelling tax exemptions for MPs. He also announced that MPs affiliated with Mostaqbal Watan will donate half their annual basic salary to a fund set up to compensate the families of soldiers killed on active duty.
Article 249 of the constitution states that the Senate review any constitutional amendment, national socio-economic development plans, international treaties and alliances, and draft laws referred by the president or the House of Representatives.
Ibrahim Al-Heneidi, chairman of the House of Representatives' Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said that once sitting the Senate will be of great help to the House of Representatives.
“Not only will it widen the scope of political participation, it will also help the legislative process in terms of thoroughly vetting laws before they are sent to the House,” said Al-Heneidi.


*A version of this article appears in print in the 25 February, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.