Shura Council

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Egyptian Shura Council
مجلس الشورى المصرى
Maǧlis aš-Šūrā al-Maṣrī
Coat of arms of Egypt (Official).svg
Type
Type Upper house
Leadership
Speaker post abolished
Deputy Speaker post abolished
Deputy Speaker post abolished
Structure
Seats 2701
Political groups Abolished
Elections
Last election 2012
Meeting place
Shura Council chamber of the Egyptian Parliament building, Cairo, Egypt
Website
www.shoura.gov.eg/(S(fygn0qzip52mkrqxx2rfdkhp))/App_Ara/
Coat of arms of Egypt (Official).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Egypt
Constitution (history)
Political parties (former)

The Shura Council (Arabic: مجلس الشورى‎, pronounced [ˈmæɡles eʃˈʃuːɾˤɑ], "consultative council") was the upper house of the then Egyptian bicameral Parliament. Its name roughly translates into English as "the Consultative Council". The lower house of parliament is the House of Representatives. The council has been abolished in the 2014 constitution.2

The Shura Council was created in 1980 through a Constitutional Amendment. The Council was composed of 264 members of which 176 members are directly elected and 88 are appointed by the President of the Republic for six-year terms. Membership is rotating, with one half of the Council renewed every three years.

A legal challenge concerning the constitutionality of the Shura Council was to have been considered on 2 December 2012 by the High Constitutional Court.3 The court postponed the verdict in response to protests.4 Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration issued in November 2012 bars the Shura Council from being dissolved by the judiciary.5 The constitutional declaration issued by Morsi in December 2012 allows the Shura Council to be dissolved by the judiciary.6 The High Constitutional Court referred the lawsuit to the State Commissioners' Board, which is the advisory board of the High Constitutional Court, on 15 January 2013.7 The board of commissioners will review the lawsuit on 10 February 2013; after lawyers give the required documents, the board will create a report on the constitutionality of the election law.7 The report was received 22 April 2013.8 The formation of the Shura Council was ruled unconstitutional on 2 June 2013; however, it will not be dissolved until a new House of Representatives is elected.9 As of early July 2013, 30 members of the Shura Council have resigned.10 The Shura Council was dissolved on 5 July 2013.11

Members

The Shura Council must be made up of 264 members, two thirds of the council (176) is elected by a direct ballot, and half of the Council must be farmers or workers, the remaining third (88) is appointed by the President of the Republic.

Term of membership and activities

The term membership of the Shura Council was six years. However, renewed election and appointment of 50% of the total number of members is required every three years, and it is always possible to re-elect or re-appoint those members whose membership has expired. The Constitution has provided many guarantees whereby the Council is able to carry out its tasks and activities. Such Guarantees include:

  • The Council may not be dissolved except by a Presidential decree and only in case of necessity.
  • Members of the Council have parliamentary immunity.

Candidates criteria

In accordance with the law, any candidate wishing to be elected to the Shura Council should meet the following conditions:

  • Hold the Egyptian nationality as well as being the son/daughter of an Egyptian national.
  • Be not less than 35 years old upon election or nomination.
  • Have completed military service or be exempted therefrom.

The Shura Council member is elected by the absolute majority of valid votes cast in the elections.

Powers

Although the powers of the Shura Council are not as extensive or effective as the People’s Assembly, its jurisdiction as provided by Articles (194) and (195) of the Constitution covers the studying and proposing of what is deemed necessary to preserve the principles of the July 23rd revolution and the May 15th, 1971 Corrective Revolution. The Shura Council is to be consulted on the following (Article 195):

The council must ratify:

  • Constitutional amendment bills.
  • All treaties or agreements affecting Egypt’s territorial integrity or sovereignty.

In case of disagreements with the People’s Assembly, a combined committee is formed composed of both chambers’ chairmen and seven members from each chamber. The proposed bill is reconsidered in both chambers. If either still disagrees, the issue is once again in a joint session of both chambers to reach a common statement.

The council is considered on a consultative capacity for:

  • Drafts, and general plans for social and economic development.
  • Bills referred to the Council by the President of the Republic.
  • All matters relating to the state’s general policy or international issues referred to the Shura Council by the President of the Republic.

In this case, the council submits its decision to the president and the People’s Assembly.

Parliamentary elections

There are currently many recognized political parties covering a broad political spectrum. However, the formation of political parties based on religion is prohibited by the Constitution. Opposition and political pressure groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are active in Egypt and make their views public, and they are represented at various levels in the political system.

The November 2000 parliamentary elections are generally regarded to have been more transparent and better executed than past elections. This is due to the new law put into force establishing universal judicial monitoring of polling stations. On the other hand, opposition parties continue to lodge credible complaints about electoral manipulation by the government. There are significant restrictions on the political process and freedom of expression for non-governmental organizations, including professional syndicates and organizations promoting respect for human rights.

Latest election

Note that, prior to the 2011–2012 elections, the Council and Assembly had both been dissolved by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.


e • d Summary of the 2012 elections for the Shura Council
Party Proportional representation FPTP Total
seats
Votes % Seats Seats
Freedom and Justice Party 2,894,922 45.04 56 49 105
Islamist Bloc 1,840,014 28.63 38 7 45
New Wafd Party 543,417 8.45 14 0 14
Egyptian Bloc 348,957 5.43 8 0 8
Freedom Party 84,936 1.32 3 0 3
Democratic Peace Party 95,273 1.48 1 0 1
Independents 4 4
Presidential appointees 90
Total 6,427,666 100 120 60 270

2008 fire

On 19 August 2008, a huge fire seriously damaged most of the 19th-century palace that houses the Shura Council in Cairo. At least thirteen people were hurt in the fire, which destroyed the parliamentary archive room and several meeting chambers.12

According to the Egyptian Channel 1, 99% of the documents have been destroyed in the fire.citation needed

On 21 November 2009, President Mubarak inaugurated the new Shura Council Building, which was renovated by Al Mokaweloon Al Arab.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Morsy appoints 90 members to Shura Council". Daily News Egypt. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  2. ^ "What's in Egypt's proposed new constitution?". Al Jazeera English. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "HCC to address constitutionality of Shura Council 2 December". Ahram Online. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  4. ^ "Egypt Constitutional Court postpones all sessions indefinitely". Ahram Online. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Politicians divided on Morsy's new constitutional declaration". Egypt Independent. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  6. ^ El-Dabh, Basil (10 December 2012). "Referendum to decide Shura power". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  7. ^ a b "Constitution court refers Shura Council case to state commissioners' board". Ahram Online. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Court to rule on Shura Council dissolution in May". Daily News Egypt. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  9. ^ "SCC deems Shura Council and Constituent Assembly unconstitutional". Daily News Egypt. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Thirty Shura Council members have resigned". Egypt Independent. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "BREAKING: Egypt's interim president dissolves Shura Council: State TV". Ahram Online. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Egypt's parliament hit by blaze". BBC News. 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 

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