Monday, 4th January 2021
The Egyptian Alliance for Human Rights and Development issues a comparative study about national parliaments 2010 – 2020
Within the accelerating procedures and actions in preparation for holding the opening session of the parliament of 2020 which has come after extremely competitive and hot elections which consequently resulted in highly differentiated and vital parliamentary combination that came during a social decisive moment whether in regard to public hopes and ambitions including needs and requests or the difficulties or challenges of the public national scene within the pandemic of coronavirus in front of which the international community stands helpless, in addition to the regional scene which includes many challenges and difficulties and a developmental project which needs many legislations and supervisory programs to implement it; the matter which places the coming parliament in the circle of attention and shed the light on it to be publicly followed up, the matter which also requires deep and effective review of the scene in the context of comparing it to the previous parliamentary combinations during a decade of political and social movements (2010 – 2020).
In general, the Egyptian State has implemented a number of democratic processes during that period within their competitive image using biases of popular will to define power components and institutions in addition to approving rules of national references to distribute missions, competences and rights among society’s powers and citizens. These processes reached 13 voting processes through ‘opinion expressing’ boxes which reflect the status of institutional and social movements which varied from processes related to consensual endorsements regarding constitutional texts (created) which reached 2 processes, amending current texts (2), processes to decide in national biases in regard to selecting the president (3), forming the main legislative chamber whether the parliament or the People’s Assembly (4) or the partner chamber represented in the Senate (2).
In this context, the Egyptian Alliance for Development and Human Rights and the Forum Development and Human Rights Dialogue have issued an analytical paper entitled “From Chaos to Justice: Electoral Processes 2010 – 2020” which reviews and evaluates the electoral processes witnessed by Egypt during the last decade which related to forming the main legislative chamber whose name has been changed from ‘the People’s Assembly’ to ‘the Parliament’. Also the paper aims at measuring how much progress has been achieved in the democratic progress after the waves of popular movement related to political demands passing by reviewing main results and trends of the scene and finally analyzing the situations of main party and social powers which are active in the public scene.
The paper concluded a group of results and indicators which help in understanding the scene and justly evaluating its data that can be emphasized as follows:
Firstly: the legislative frameworks governing the electoral processes
The elections of 2020 have distinguished with a differentiated legislative framework which is responsive to the constitutional amendments of 2019 in regard to allocating a percentage of seats for women in addition to encouraging positive discrimination for categories stated by the constitution which required amendments of laws governing the practice of political rights, laws of parliament and those of the National Elections Commission which yielded in an extremely just and typical framework in the processes of dividing constituencies and ideal image of the competitive scene which has not been witnessed before by the national electoral process while the previous electoral processes have suffered from legislative defects and desires in obsessions resulted in defective texts of cancelling judicial supervision and back to the employees of the governmental body of 2010 or parties obsessions and excluding the independents from the competition in 2011; the matter which required judgments of nullity the legislation and its related electoral processes.
Secondly: Parliamentary Combinations
The parliamentary combinations of 2020 witnessed the return of parties to appear in the parliamentary scene in a differentiated way after decades of domination by independents which might by a beginning of intellectual conflict and introducing alternative policies by the representative powers with an advanced usage of supervisory tools upon the performances of executive authorities among a clear existence of a party which represent the parliamentary majority (Mostakbal Watan) which we missed in the parliament of 2015 that had to form parliamentary coalition (Da’am Misr) which can discuss with the power and hold it accountable and also in the parliament of 2011 which was used by the Islamized trends and Muslim Brotherhood Group in settling their political differences and conflicts and getting gains away from fulfilling needs and demands of citizens; the matter which has been done by the elected elite then in 2010.
Thirdly: Parties in Parliaments
The representative political powers in the parliament of 2020 were differentiated although their limited number which was only 13 in addition to independents as being a representative of electoral harmony through which a list of electoral alliance (a unified one) was submitted which allowed the access of 12 parties to the parliament among which 8 parties were able to increase their proportion through individual seats as a sample of expected positivity unlike the parliament of 2015 which included more number of parties (20) with the absence of party commitment or situations reflecting intellectual convictions which represent negativity; the matter which related to the status of movement and changing party belonging which frequently occurred by many representatives which was similar to the absurd status resulted by elections of 2010 in addition to moral and behavior scandals in practices of parliamentarians of 2011 in way which explains the happiness status accompanied by the decisions of dissolving them later.
Fourthly: Women in Parliaments
Women representation in parliament of 2020 is the best one historically, yet is also one of the most prominent features in the created parliamentary combination as women have accessed 149 seats (subject to increase) which reflects the state’s respect to its international commitments and the institutions’ appreciation of the role and efficiency of women participation in supporting the state and the independence of its decisions moreover it is an application of the constitutional commitment amended in 2019 which allocated proportion of 25% of the total seats for women; the matter through which it is expected that there will be an interest and support for women to occupy decision making positions and participate in the public affair unlike the difficulties of women representation in previous parliaments which was manipulated by the religious groups in parliament of 2011 which introduced very prejudiced discriminatory discourses and legislations against the fundamental rights of women or selecting unreal and non-politicized elite in the parliament of 2010.
Fifthly: Christians in Parliamentary Combination
Christians were able to maintain their outstanding representation in the parliament of 2020 by succeeding in getting 3 individual seats to be added to 28 seats in lists system. So the total number of seats of Christians in the parliament is 31 seats. What was distinguished is that these seats accessed by candidates who had popular base and active in public work in a way which enables them to introduce highly efficient performance to influence the parliamentary work in addition to being a strong association for the Egyptian community abroad which represents one of the sources of Egypt’s soft power after periods of sufferance and weak representation in previous parliaments whose many rounds were turned to sectarian congestion and voting according to religious identity as what Muslim Brotherhood Group did during its domination period over the parliamentary scene of 2011 in a way which repeats the practices and behaviors of Mubarak’s regime which used Christians’ representation in the parliament of 2010 as a paper of conflict and manipulation in front of international pressures and not as a right of citizenship rights.