Egypt's Shura Council is the upper house of Egyptian bicameral
Its name roughly translates into English as "the Consultative Council".
The lower house of parliament is the Egyptian People's Assembly.
Egypt's Shura Council was established through a public referendum in 1979 under the principle that popular consultation as a pillar of democratic practice is embedded in both Muslim and Western political thought. It was created in 1980 through a Constitutional Amendment.
The Jurisdiction of Egypt's Shura Council 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 by the former Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat, to consolidating national unity and social peace, to protecting the Alliance of the people’s working forces and socialist gains as well as the basic constituents of the society, its supreme values, its rights and public freedoms and duties, and to deepening and widening scope of the democratic socialist system
A huge fire broke out on 19 August 2008 at Egypt's Shura Council, the upper house of the Parliament of Egypt, and seriously damaged most of the 19th-century palace that houses Egypt's Shura Council in Cairo.
On their part, Egypt's official sources said that "At least thirteen people were hurt in the fire most of them were a result of smoke inhalation and minor burns"
Egypt's sources said "The fire is currently limited to the Shura Council's second floor. We are still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire," adding that "Parliament is currently on summer recess and very few people would have been in the building"
No member can hold office in both the Egyptian People’s Assembly and Egypt's Shura Council at one and the same time.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Constitution has provided many guarantees whereby the Council is able to carry out its tasks and activities.
The President is the only one who can dissolve the Shura Council by a Presidential decree and only in case of necessity. Also all the members have a parliamentary immunity
There are currently 18 recognized political parties covering a broad political spectrum in Egypt.
However, power is concentrated in the hands of the President of the Republic and the National Democratic Party which retains a super-majority in the Egyptian People's Assembly.
Egypt's 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.
Egypt's Shura Council election was held on 11 June 2007 and 18 June 2007.
From a total of 264 seats 88 are up for election every three years, another 44 are appointed by Egypt's president Mubarak.
There were 587 candidates competing for the 88 seats in 24 provinces.
Mid-term elections of Egypt's Shura Council, the upper house of the Egyptian parliament, the consultative assembly will be held in Egypt on June 1, 2010
From a total of 264 seats 88, two thirds of the council’s 264 seats are up for election every three years, another 44 are directly appointed by the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptians are due to elect a new People's Assembly late this year and to vote in presidential polls in 2011, a possible turning point for the Arab world's most populous nation as it struggles to lift economic growth and modernize.
Some opposition parties plan to participate, others will boycott, and the ruling National Democratic Party is gearing up to secure its hold on the assembly. And different political parties prepare for the elections.
Egypt's National Democratic Party
Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) holds the majority of seats at Egypt's Shura Council from the last round of elections in 2007.
Egypt’s largest opposition group Muslim Brotherhood, which is officially banned, is partaking in the election in keeping with its general policy of actively and seriously participating in parliamentary elections.
For the leftist Tagammu Party head and current Shura Council member Refaat el-Saeed, despite recent experiences of electoral fraud in Egypt, it’s hard to know what will happen in the Shura Council elections.
Egypt's Liberal National Democratic Front
Egypt's liberal National Democratic Front party announced the party’s intention to boycott the elections.
Egypt's liberal-oriented Wafd Party
Wafd Party said that "A mere 10 candidates will run in the polls"
Essam Shiha, a member of Al-Wafd's Higher Council said that "The party will spend LE300, 000 on supporting the election campaigns of these candidates"
Egypt's Nasserist Party
Ahmed Hassan, secretary-general of the Arab Nasserist Party, argued that "since the cost of running the Shura elections is too expensive for the party members to afford, we found it enough that just one candidate be fielded in the Upper Egypt governorate of Qena"
Egypt's upcoming Shura Council elections in 2010 were decided not to be under any national court supervision or international supervision.
The General Secretary of the Policy Committee in the National Democratic Party Gamal Mubarak said that "This issue is governed by the law and the constitution which made it possible for civil society organizations to monitor the elections"
Little power of Egypt's Shura Council
In practice, the council has little power over Egypt's politics, say experts. “I don’t feel how close the Shura Council elections have become although they are about to start.
A businessman and political commentator Akmal Qortam said that "Yet we do not feel they have any impact on a street level,” according to Egypt's paper almasri alyum.
Egyptian Shura Council in EGYPT NEWS
Egyptian Shura Council in News
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BY Tamer Ibrahim
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