On the occasion of the House of Representatives’ 150th year, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi began his speech by offering his condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of member of parliament Amira Refaat who died in a car accident on her way to Sharm El-Sheikh.
The parliament is considered as a “mirror” that reflects what is happening in Egyptian society, Al-Sisi said in his speech on Sunday morning.
“Youth representation in the parliament has reached 40%. Of the 596 members of parliament, we have 90 female members, and also disabled members. The 2014 Constitution has guaranteed the parliament a very broad and unprecedented authority,” the president said.
The celebration in Sharm El-Sheikh was attended by head of the Arab Parliament Ahmed Al Garwan, head of the African Parliamentary Union Roger Nkodo Dang, and secretary general of International Parliamentary Union Martin Chungong. These officials also gave speeches to congratulate the Egyptian parliament on marking 150 years.
Prior to Al-Sisi’s speech, parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal spoke to the attendees, calling on “foreign” powers to not interfere in the region’s internal affairs and to engage in effective dialogue to restore stability.
Moreover, he asserted that the parliament carries out its work with the respect of international legitimacy, and works with the United Nations to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.
“The Egyptian parliament refuses any interference in countries’ internal affairs. Countries’ sovereignty should be respected and agitation policies must desist,” Abdul Aal said.
He further praised the 2014 Constitution for building a strict, democratic political environment in Egypt, adding that Egypt was subjected to numerous foreign and domestic challenges before and during the drafting of the Constitution.
“Despite foreign and domestic challenges facing Egypt during this period, Egypt did not impose exceptional measures, even though these challenges might have led to the collapse of the state and brought about chaos,” he clarified.
Last week, the second legislative year of the House of Representatives commenced following a one-month break.
This year, the parliament is facing several publicly controversial issues, especially on the economic level, such as the flotation of the Egyptian pound. Moreover, the cabinet has proposed an anti-immigration law following the drowning of hundreds who attempted to migrate to Europe illegally from Rashid, which brought the issue to its peak.
In another incident, MP Elhamy Agina has come under fire due to several remarks that are offensive to women, regarding female genital mutilation (FGM) and virginity tests. Several MPs, such as Al-Wafd party members, are calling for his dismissal from the parliament.
Today’s celebration has been funded by the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, the ministries of tourism, culture, youth and sports, and telecommunications, in addition to EgyptAir and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in hopes of promoting the touristic city that is currently in decline, according to state media citing MP Osama Heikal.