Egypt's Sisi discusses bilateral ties with Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference chairman    Trump denies telling White House counsel to fire Mueller from Russia probe    Sudan risks counter coup without deal on transition: Opposition leader    EGP 1.852tn balance of local T-Bills, T-Bonds by end-March    AOI will complete launch of two solar plants in Eritrea next October    NTPC to invest in solar energy in Egypt    Trump's ‘peace plan' in Middle East to be unveiled in June    Kim Jong Un to meet Putin in Russia    For First Time in Egypt: Uber launches UberBlack in El Gouna    No Egyptians to travel for Umrah without Ministry of Tourism approval: Supreme Committee for Hajj, Umrah    The widespread impact of domestic violence    Ancient Egyptian tomb filled with mummies unearthed in Aswan    Indian embassy, Social Solidarity Ministry launch new initiative in Assuit    Once upon a time in Eden features Anubis in batman suit    Egypt renews state of emergency for three months: Official gazette    Factbox: Manchester City's and Liverpool's remaining fixtures    Manchester City's Fernandinho facing knee injury scan    Guardiola amazed by Manchester City's response to European exit    Egyptians binging on holiday    In pursuit of stability    Sliced twice    Egyptian triple    Staged in Cairo    Partial sale of Banque du Caire    Steel troubles    After the Sri Lanka bombings    Yemen's new road to peace    Primary healthcare for all    Avengers: Endgame    Syrian crisis caused by Iran    The return of the vice president    Expat voices heard    Al-Qawmi Theatre's new production Yaaish Ahl Baladi is a must go    Celebrating World Heritage    Don't miss "The Sum of All Parts" exhibition at UBUNTU gallery    Egypt's constitutional amendments approved: What's next?    Centamin reports better-than-expected Q1 gold output    Egypt's state employees to be assessed ahead of transfer to New Administrative Capital    Egypt to set up 4 medical centers in Africa: Minister    Republished: Good morning, Sinai: A look at the headlines when Israel withdrew in 1982    Egypt's bourse recovers, gains EGP 3.8 billion    Egyptian voters back constitutional amendments    Elders, campaigners dominate scene in Kerdasa polling stations    250 archaeological missions from 25 countries work in Egypt: Minister    Bundesliga: Bayern Munich turn the screw in a reminder of champions past    Trade exchange between Egypt, Tunisia to increase to $500m    Cairo Copts celebrate Palm Sunday    Vatican willing to offer technical know-how to help restore Notre-Dame    

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

Lost in a legal maze
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 04 - 03 - 2015

On 1 March the Administrative Court suspended Press Syndicate midterm elections, due to be held tomorrow, at which six of the Syndicate's 12 board seats were up for grabs. The court ruled that any vote should cover all 12 board seats, and ordered that law no 76 for the year 1970, which regulates syndicate affairs, be amended.
At an emergency board meeting of the Press Syndicate it was decided to contest the first-degree ruling before the Higher Administrative Court. The Higher Administrative Court began hearing the first of five appeals filed by the syndicate's legal team on Tuesday.
The initial Administrative Court ruling came in response to a lawsuit, filed by several syndicate members, arguing that elections should cover all seats on the board. Sayed Abu Zeid, the Press Syndicate's legal advisor, says that until the Higher Administrative Court has had time to issue a final ruling, all syndicate elections are on hold.
The first-degree ruling, argues Abu Zeid, contradicts Article 43 of the Syndicate Law. “The court, in issuing its ruling, has in effect assumed legislative power,” he says. “The judges do not seem to realise they are not legislators. Any legal amendment has to come either through parliament or a presidential decree.”
Syndicate officials are confident the Higher Administrative Court will overturn the lower court's ruling. As Al-Ahram Weekly went to print, the ruling had not been issued.
Abdel-Mohsen Salama, a member of the board of Al-Ahram who has ambitions to replace Press Syndicate chairman Diaa Rashwan, welcomed the lower court's ruling, calling it “a victory for journalists.”
At the heart of the problem is confusion over which law regulates the workings of the Press Syndicate. Currently, the Press Syndicate is operating under the provisions of the syndicate law passed in September 1970, suspended in 1996 and reapplied in 2011.
In the period between 1996 and 2011, professional syndicates were subject to Mubarak-era law 100. When that law was ruled unconstitional in 2011, the Press Syndicate reverted to the earlier legislation.
But according to Salama, the current syndicate law is null and void. “It was suspended for more than 20 years. Journalists should not conduct their elections based on a law that was suspended in 1996,” he says.
Yet it is the law under which the 2011 and 2013 Press Syndicate elections were held.
“Those who filed the original case have their own agenda, which is about serving their own interests and has nothing to do with strengthening the position of the syndicate or improving the lot of journalists,” says Rashwan.
Salama, who disagrees with Rashwan, revealed that the law stipulates that elections should take place for the 12 seats of the syndicate's board, as well as the syndicate's head every four years; and the midterm for half of the board's seats and the head as well every two years.
“Unfortunately, elections are all the way taking place every two years. This is unconstitutional and illegal,” argues Salama, adding there is an intention to change the election day.
“Elections on Friday discourages journalists from voting because it is an official holiday. Elections are better done on any day other than Friday,” he says.
Khaled Meri, a veteran writer at Akhbar Al-Youm who is seeking election to the syndicate board, is critical of the ruling. “The court's verdict violates regulations governing the syndicate though it is not the first time we have faced such a problem,” he says.
In February 2013, the Administrative Court suspended Press Syndicate elections in response to a lawsuit, only to have its decision overturned in March of the same year by the Higher Administrative Court.
Meri is confident the same will happen now. “We are used to this kind of palaver. I am sure we will win the case before the Higher Administrative Court and its rulings are final.”

Clic here to read the story from its source.