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Egypt government had 'no say' in delaying elections: PM

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Egypt government had 'no say' in delaying elections: PM

Egypt's government did not have a say in postponing the parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said on Thursday, adding his cabinet is "dedicated" to carrying them out soon.

The premier said in a meeting with political parties and public figures that he believes the delay will "contribute to protecting the continuity of the upcoming parliament, [help] avoid previous mistakes, and [give it the best possible] constitutional immunity [from dissolution]."

Egypt has been without a parliament since the House of Representatives elected in late 2011 was dissolved in June 2012, following a court ruling that judged the law regulating its election to be unconstitutional.

The committee amending parliamentary laws in preparation for holding the long-delayed elections had its first public discussion on Thursday with representatives of 11 political parties and coalitions and several public figures.

More similar sessions are expected to be held over the next few days and they should include 75 political figures, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim Heneidy announced on Tuesday.

Egypt's Constitutional Court on 2 March ruled parts of the electoral laws unconstitutional, thus postponing the parliamentary elections. The cabinet's committee to amend the electoral laws then started working in preparation for sending the laws to the State Council for review.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi holds legislative powers until an elected parliament convenes.

Once a parliament is elected, they will have to vote on all laws issued by El-Sisi and his predecessor, interim president Adly Mansour.

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