Pro-Sisi bloc to nominate its canditate for speaker of Egypt’s parliament today

As the opening procedural sitting of Egypt’s new parliament draws closer, a parliamentary bloc in support of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the pro-Egyptian State Bloc, said it will meet Tuesday to name its nominee for the post of speaker.

According to Mostafa Bakri, a journalist and MP with the pro-Sisi bloc, a meeting will be held Tuesday to name the candidate for speaker.

“I think there is a consensus among the bloc’s members (around 380) that constitutional expert Ali Abdel-Al will be our candidate for the post,” Bakri told parliamentary reporters on Monday.

He added that the nominee must be decided on before parliament’s opening procedural session is held on 10 January, or next Sunday.

The chances for Abdel-Al, a constitutional law professor with Ain Shams University, shot high after a list of presidential appointees last Thursday came free of high-profile judicial or constitutional figures, such as Adli Mansour, the former interim president of Egypt (July 2013 – June 2014) and the incumbent chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC).

The list included only two public figures who were involved in judicial and legal activities; Sirri Siam, the former chairman of the Court of Cassation and the Higher Council for Judges; and Bahaeddin Abu Shuka, a long-time lawyer and secretary-general of the Wafd Party.

Siam announced Sunday that he would not run for the post of speaker.

“I prefer to run for the post of the chairman of parliament’s legislative and constitutional affairs committee, and I hope I will get the support of MPs,” said Siam.

Abu Shuka also announced that he has no wish to run for the post of speaker and that he was selected by Wafd to be its parliamentary spokesman.

“Besides, I will also run for the post of chairman of parliament’s legislative and constitutional affairs committee,” said Abu Shuka.

Bakri told reporters that MPs affiliated with the Pro-Egyptian State Bloc met Monday with Osama El-Abd, former chairman of Al-Azhar University, to convince him not to run for the post of speaker. El-Abd, an independent MP from the governorate of Damietta, announced last Saturday that he would run for the post.

“We are hoping that as few MPs as possible will run for the post of speaker so that our nominee would have a good chance to win,” Bakri said.

If nominated by the pro-Sisi bloc, Abdel-Al will be running against Tawfik Okasha, an independent MP who has repeatedly announced that he will run for the post.

Okasha, the owner of the private TV channel Pharaeen, said that since he got the highest the number of votes in the recent elections (92,000), he is the MP most entitled to be elected speaker of Egypt’s coming parliament.

Abdel-Al, 69, has a long history of constitutional and legislative experience.

After Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted from office in July 2013, Abdel-Al was selected to be among ten constitutional law experts entrusted with drawing up the first draft of Egypt’s post-Morsi constitution.

Abdel-Al was also a member of a government committee which took charge of drafting the country’s three election laws: the exercise of political rights, the House of Representatives Affairs, and the Division of Electoral Constituencies.

source: Ahram online