Egypt PM to deliver speech on policy statement ahead of parliament vote on Wednesday

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail is scheduled to deliver a final speech to parliament on Wednesday on his government’s policy statement, which he delivered before the House of Representatives on 27 March.

Minister of Parliamentary affairs Madi El-Agati told reporters on Tuesday that Ismail and most cabinet ministers are expected to answer questions raised by MPs during a marathon of debates between 10 and 20 April.

Ismail will also respond to a 340-page report prepared by a special parliamentary committee on his government’s programme.

According to Article 146 of the constitution, the government’s policy statement must gain a vote of confidence in parliament. If not, parliamentary coalitions or a majority party with the majority two thirds of MPs will be charged with forming an alternative government.

Most political forces have said that they will vote in favour of Ismail’s government not out of conviction, but because of the lack of consensus on an alternative government.

Around 40 percent of MPs are affiliated with political parties, while the remaining 60 percent are independent.

Minister El-Agati confirmed that the government is expected to be granted a vote of confidence.

“We – the government and parliament – are in one boat, and a vote of ‘yes’ is important to let the boat move forward,” said El-Agati.

MPs have criticised the government’s policy statement, saying it comes short of having important social justice programmes necessary to lift millions of economically marginalised Egyptians out of poverty.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al told MPs Tuesday that the vote will be taken in Wednesday’s morning session.

source: Ahram Online

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