Parties and politicians are weighing in with their preparations for the long awaited municipal elections. These actions come after a statement by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail stressed the necessity to implement the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in which he called to finalise the drafting of the Local Administration Law in preparation for municipal elections by the end of 2016.
The Ministry of Local Development is currently working on finalising the law before sending it to the House of Representatives. Several members of parliament criticised the ministry’s delay in finalising the law, arguing that this delay may negatively affect a schedule for local municipal elections.
“We cannot find any sign of seriousness from the Ministry of Local Development to finalise the law and refer it to parliament. I hope that the prime minister’s directives are clearly communicated to the ministry,” member of the parliament’s local administration committee Mohamed Fouad told Daily News Egypt on Saturday.
Fouad, who is a member of the liberal Al-Wafd party, said his party had introduced a draft ‘Local Municipals’ law to the government in March, to help in the formulation process of the new law, noting that his party will participate in the upcoming elections.
“Al-Wafd party is seeking to win 60% of the municipal seats across Egypt,” Fouad said.
The Free Egyptians Party (FEP), the party with the most seats in parliament, did not determine the number of seats it seeks to fill in the upcoming elections, arguing that the draft law should first be subjected to intensive study and research from the party, FEP official spokesperson Sehab Wagih told Daily News Egypt on Saturday.
“The party is hoping the new law will enhance decentralisation all over Egypt’s governorates and increase the ratio of young officials in the local municipals administrative headquarters,” he said.
The law aims to achieve more progress in organising the workflow of the main municipal units and contribute in the cancellation of governorates’ dependence on centralisation in the issuance of decisions, Ismail said in the statement.
The cabinet will hold two meetings before Eid El-Fitr vacation in which amendments to a number of draft laws will be discussed, including the ‘Local Administration Law’ and the ‘Trade Union Federations Law’,” the statement added.
Article 180 from the 2014 Constitution stipulates that each local municipal should elect a council through a voting system for a four-year term.
Earlier in April, Al-Sisi asked Ismail to advance the carrying out of the municipal elections to be held before the end of 2016, instead of the first quarter of 2017.
The last local municipals elections Egypt witnessed was in 2008, during the era of the former president Hosni Mubarak.