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The newly-elected speaker of Egypt’s parliament Ali Abdel-Al

Ali Abdel-Al, 68, is an Ain Shams University constitutional law emeritus professor who won a seat in an Upper Egypt governorate as part of the Pro-Egyptian State Coalition, which at the time was named the For the Love of Egypt list.

Abdel-Al was also at the top of a committee responsible for drafting three election laws in 2015; the exercise of political rights, the House of Representatives affairs, and the division of electoral constituencies.

He has said several times that he is highly supportive of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

When he visited parliament for the first time after winning a seat in the first round of the polls last October, he told reporters that the relationship between the parliament and the president of the republic should be based on “cooperation rather than confrontation”.

Abdel-Al first came to prominence when former interim president Adli Mansour selected him in 2013 to be one of a 10-member committee entrusted with handing a draft of Egypt’s new constitution to a wider 50-member body for review.

President Sisi selected Abdel-Al as a member of the legislative reform committee that took charge of vetting important political and economic legislation.

Officials affiliated with the pro-Sisi parliamentary bloc entitled Support Egypt were quick to announce that as long as former interim president Mansour – the head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court – was not appointed by Sisi to parliament, they would back the nomination of Abdel-Al for the post of speaker.

Article 117 of the new constitution states that the speaker and two deputies cannot be elected for more than two consecutive legislative seasons.

Article 160 states that if the president is temporarily not able to exercise his powers, the prime minister will act in his place.

However, if the president’s office becomes vacant due to his resignation, death or a permanent inability to work, the speaker of parliament shall temporarily assume the powers of the president. A new president should be elected within 90 days.

The last speaker of the previous house of parliament, which was dissolved in June 2012 by a court order on constitutional grounds, is the now-imprisoned leading Muslim Brotherhood member Saad El-Katatni.

El-Katatni is ‎appealing a death sentence over charges of damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots and releasing prisoners while escaping from Wadi El-Natroun prison during the January 2011 revolution.

During the Mubarak-era, law professor Ahmed Fathi Sorour served as speaker from 1990 until the January 2011 revolution.

Source: Ahram Online

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