The Egyptian Constitution stated that the number of elected members of the people assembly is to be fixed by a Law. This number can be no less than 350 members. Law no 38 of 1972 has fixed in its first article the number at 444 members elected by a general secret poll under the condition that the lection process has to be conducted under the supervision of a judicial body. In addition, the President can nominate up to 10 members. Half of the members have at least to be workers or peasants. Law 206 of 1990 fixed at 222 the number of election districts. Each of them can lead to the election of 2 members, one of them at least worker or peasant. The election of a member is valid by absolute majority of validated votes in the election.
One of the basic principles of the Revolution of July 23, 1952 was "the establishment of a healthy democratic life". This is after that the revolution had canceled the old constitution, declared the republic regime and dissolved the parties. In 1956 a new constitution has been promulgated, on the basis of which a "Nation Assembly" has been formed on july 22, 1957 formed of 350 elected members. This first assmebly has terminated its first ordinary session on February 10, 1958. In this same February 1958 and due to the unification between Egypt and Syria, the constitution has been canceled and a new provisional Constitution of the United Arab Republic has been promulgated in March 1958. On the basis of this new constitution, a common "Nation Assembly" has been formed of 400 members from Egypt and 200 from Syria all nominated. The first session has been held from July 21, 1960 to June 22, 1962. Then on September 28, 1961 separation between Egypt and Syria occured. A new provisional constitution has then been promulgated in March 1964, on the basis of which a Nation Assembly of 350 members has been elected, half of them from workers and peasants follwing July 1961 socialist laws. This is ina ddition to 10 members nominated by the President. This Assembly continued its activities from March 26, 1964 to November 12, 1968. New elections have been held January 20, 1969 and the new Assembly continued its constitutional activities until August 30, 1971. The current Egyptian constitution has been promulgated in September 1971. It developed the basics of the democratic parliamentary system, insisting on the rule of law and the independence of the judicial system. It also accepted the fundamentals of multipartism within the framework of the basic fundamentals of the Egyptian society. Increasing democratic developments have occured during the following period on the basis of different tendecies in the Arab Socialist Union, the unique political organization at that time.
In 1979, the 1st parliamentary elections on the basis of several parties were held in Egypt, first since 1952 revolution. Several political parties, formed after the parties Law of 1977, participated to these elections. In 1980, the Senate "Shura Council" has been created to extend the political and democratic participation. This has opened a new political era in Egypt on clear and firm bases of rule of law, of respect of diversity, rising values of Freedom and Equality. October 14, 1981 Husni Mubarak took position as President, and new laws followed. In 1983, the system of parties lists and relative representation has been decided. But the experience lead to the individual system. In 1990, a law has been promulagted returning back to the individual system, dividing egypt to 222 electora district, electing 2 members each, one of them worker or peasant. The number of the members became 454, 10 of them nominated by the President.
The People′s Assembly
Article 86 - The People’s Assembly shall exercise the legislative power, approve the general policy of the State, the general plan of economic and social development and the general budget of the State. It shall exercise control over the work of the executive authority in the manner prescribed by the Constitution .
Article 87 - The law shall determine the constituencies into which the State shall be divided. The number of the elected members of the People’s Assembly must be at least 350 members of whom one half at least must be workers and farmers elected by direct secret pubic balloting. The Law shall determine the definition of the worker and the farmer.
The President of the Republic may appoint a number of members not exceeding ten.
Article 88 - The Law shall determine the conditions which members of the Assembly must fulfil as well as the rules of election and referendum, while the ballot shall be conducted under the supervision of the members of a judiciary organ.
Article 89 - Employees of the State and the public sector may nominate themselves for membership in the People’s Assembly with the exception of cases determined by law. The member of the People’s Assembly shall devote himself entirely to his duties, while his former work or post shall be preserved for him as determined by law.
Article 90 - Before exercising his duties, the member of the People’s Assembly shall take the following oath before the Assembly: " I swear by God Almighty that I shall sincerely safeguard the safety of the nation, the republican regime, attend to the interests of the people and shall respect the Constitution and the law".
Article 91- The members of the People’s Assembly shall receive a remuneration determined by law.
Article 92 - The duration of the People’s Assembly term shall be five Gergorian years starting from the date of its first meeting. Elections for the renewal of the Assembly shall take place within the sixty days preceding the termination of its term.
Article 93 - The People’s Assembly shall be competent to decide upon the validity of the membership of its members. The Court of Cassation shall be competent to investigate the validity of contestations on membership presented to the Assembly after referring them to the Court by the Speaker of the Assembly. The contestation shall be referred to the Court of Cassation within fifteen days as from the date on which the Assembly has been informed thereof while the investigation shall be completed within ninety days from the date on which the contestation is referred to the Court of Cassation.
The result of the investigation and the decision reached by the Court shall be submitted to the Assembly to decide upon the validity of the contestation within sixty days from the date of submission of the result of the investigation to the Assembly.
Memberships shall not be deemed invalid expect by a decision taken by a majority of two-thirds of the Assembly members.
Article 94- If the seat of a member becomes vacant before the end of his term, a successor shall be elected or appointed to it, within sixty days from the date of the communication to the Assembly of the occurrence of the vacancy .
The term of the new member shall extend until the end of the term of his predecessor .
Article 95 - No member of the People’s Assembly shall, during his term, purchase or rent any state property or sell or lease to the state or barter with it regarding any part of his property, or conclude a contract with the State in his capacity as entrepreneur, importer or contractor.
Article 96 - No membership in the People’s Assembly shall be revoked except on the grounds of loss of confidence or status or loss of one of the conditions of membership or the loss of the member’s status as worker or farmer upon which he was elected or the violation of his obligations as a member. The membership shall be deemed invalid on the grounds of a decision taken by two-thirds of the Assembly members.
Article 97 - The People’s Assembly alone may accept the resignation of its members.
Article 98 - Members of the People’s Assembly shall not be censured for any opinions or thoughts expressed by them in the performance of their tasks in the Assembly or its committees.
Article 99 - Except in cases of flagrante delicto, no member of the People’s Assembly shall be subject to a criminal prosecution without the permission of the Assembly. If the Assembly is not in session , the permission of the Speaker of the Assembly must be taken. The Assembly must be notified of the measures taken in its first subsequent session.
Article 100 - The seat of the People’s Assembly shall be Cairo. However, the Assembly may, under exceptional circumstances, meet in another city at the request of the President of the Republic or the majority of the Assembly members. Any meeting of the Assembly in other than its designated seat is illegal and the resolutions passed in it shall be considered invalid.
Article 101- The President of the Republic shall convoke the People’s Assembly for its ordinary annual session before the second Thursday of November . If it is not convoked, the Assembly shall meet by force of the Constitution on the said date. The session of the ordinary meeting shall continue for at least seven months.
The President of the Republic shall declare the ordinary session closed . This may not take place until the general budget of the state is approved .
Article 102 - The President of the Republic may call the People’s Assembly to an extraordinary session, in case of necessity, or upon request signed by a majority of the Assembly members.
The President of the Republic shall announce the dismissal of the extraordinary session.
Article 103 - The People’s Assembly shall elect, in the first meeting of its ordinary annual session, a Speaker and two Deputy - Speakers for the term of the session. If the seat of anyone of them is vacated, the Assembly shall elect a replacement, whose term will last until the end of his predecessor’s term.
Article 104 - The People’s Assembly shall lay down its own rules of procedure organizing the manner in which it fulfills its tasks.
Article 105 - The People’s Assembly alone shall be entitled to preserve order inside it. The Speaker of the Assembly shall be entrusted with this task.
Article 106 - The meeting of the People’s Assembly shall be public. However, a meeting in camera may be held at the request of the President of the Republic, or the Government, or the Prime Minister or of at least twenty of its members. The Assembly shall then decide whether the debate on the question submitted to it shall take place in a public meeting or in a meeting in camera.
Article 107 - The meeting of the Assembly shall be considered invalid unless the majority of its members are present. The Assembly shall adopt its resolutions by an absolute majority of its attending members, in cases other than those for which a specific majority is required. A separate vote will be taken on each article of the draft laws. In case of a tie vote, the question on which the debate has taken place shall be rejected.
Article 108 - The President of the Republic shall have the right, in case of necessity or in exceptional cases and on the authorization of the People’s Assembly, to issue resolutions having the force of law. Such authorization must be for a limited period of time and must point out the subjects of such resolutions and the grounds upon which they are based . The resolutions must be submitted to the People’s Assembly at its first meeting after the end of the authorization period. If they are not submitted or if they are submitted and not approved by the Assembly , they shall cease to have the force of law.
Article 109 - The President of the Republic and every member of the People’s Assembly shall have the right to propose laws.
Article 110 - Every draft law shall be referred to one of the committees of the Assembly which will study it and submit a report concerning it. Draft laws presented by members of the People’s Assembly shall not be referred to these committees unless they are first referred to a special committee which will study them and give an opinion on the suitability of their consideration by the Assembly and after the Assembly decides to consider them.
Article 111- Every draft law proposed by a member and rejected by the Assembly cannot be presented again in the course of the same session.
Article 112 - The President of the Republic shall have the right to promulgate laws or object to them.
Article 113 - If the President of the Republic objects to a draft law ratified by the People’s Assembly, he shall refer it back to the Assembly within thirty days from the Assembly’s communication of it. If the draft law is not referred back within this period. It is considered a law and shall be promulgated. If it is referred back to the Assembly on the said date and approved once again by a majority of two-thirds of the members, it shall be considered a law and shall be promulgated.
Article 114- The People’s Assembly shall approve the general plan for economic and social development. The manner of the preparation of the plan and of its submission to the People’s Assembly shall be determined by law.
Article 115 - The draft general budget of the State shall be submitted to the Assembly at least two months before the beginning of the fiscal year. It shall not be considered in effect unless it is approved by the Assembly. Each chapter of the draft budget shall be voted upon separately and shall be promulgated by law. The People’s Assembly shall not make modifications in the draft budget except with the approval of the government. In case the ratification of the new budget does not take place before the beginning of the new fiscal year, the old budget shall be acted on pending such ratification.
The law shall determine the manner of preparing the budget and determine the fiscal year.
Article 116 - The approval of the People’s Assembly shall be considered necessary for the transfer of any funds from one title of the budget to another, as well as for any expenditure not included in it or in excess of its estimates. These shall be issued by law.
Article 117 - The law shall determine the provisions regulating the budgets and accounts of public organizations and institutions.
Article 118 - The final account of the State budget shall be submitted to the People’s Assembly within a period not exceeding one year from the date of the expiration of the fiscal year.
Each title shall be voted upon separately and issued by a law.
The annual report of the Central Agency for Accounting and its observations must be submitted to the People’s Assembly. The Assembly has the right to demand from the Central Agency for Accounting any data or other pertinent reports.
Article 119 - The imposition, modification or abolition of general taxes cannot be effected except in the cases decreed by law. No one may be exempted from their payment except in the cases specified by law.No one may be asked to pay additional taxes or imposts except in the cases specified by law.
Article 120 - The basic rules for collection of public funds and the procedure for their disbursement shall be regulated by law.
Article 121- The Executive Authority shall not contract a loan, or bind itself to a project entailing expenditure of public funds from the State Treasury in the course of a subsequent period, except with the approval of the People’s Assembly.
Article 122 - The rules governing the granting of salaries, pensions, indemnities, subsidies and bonuses from the State treasury, as well as the cases excepted from these rules and the authorities charged with their application, shall be determined by law.
Article 123 - The law shall determine the rules and procedures for granting concessions related to the investment of natural resources and public utilities. It shall also define cases where it is permitted to dispose free of charge, of real estate property belonging to the State and the ceding of its movable property and the rules and regulations organizing such procedures.
Article 124 - Every member of the People’s Assembly shall be entitled to address questions to the Prime Minister or to any of his deputies or the Ministers or their deputies concerning matters within their jurisdiction. The Prime Minister, his deputies, the Ministers and the persons they delegate on their behalf shall answer the questions put to them by members. The member may withdraw his question at any time; this same question may not be transformed into an interpellation in the same session.
Article 125 - Every member of the People’s Assembly shall be entitled to address interpellations to the Prime Minster or his deputies or the Ministers and their deputies concerning matters within their jurisdiction.
Debate on an interpellation shall take place at least seven days after its submission, except in the cases of urgency as decided by the Assembly and with the Government’s consent.
Article 126 - The Minister shall be responsible for the general policy of the State before the People’s Assembly. Each minister shall be responsible for the affairs of his ministry. The People’s Assembly may decide to withdraw its confidence from any of the Prime Minister’s deputies or from any of the Ministers or their deputies.
A motion of no confidence should not be submitted except after an interpellation, and upon a motion proposed by one tenth the members of the Assembly.
The Assembly shall not decide on such a motion until after at least three days from the date of its presentation.
Withdrawal of confidence shall be pronounced by the majority of the members of the Assembly.
Article 127 - The People’s Assembly shall determine the responsibility of the Prime Minister, on a proposal by one-tenth of its members. Such a decision should be taken by the majority of the members of the Assembly. It may not be taken except after an interpellation addressed to the Government and after at least three days from the date of its presentation. In the event that such responsibility is determined, the Assembly shall submit a report to the President of the Republic including the elements of the subject, the conclusions reached on the matter and the reasons behind them. The President of the Republic may return such a report to the Assembly within ten days. If the Assembly ratifies it once again, the President of the Republic may put the subject of discord to a referendum. Such a referendum shall be held within thirty days from the date of the last ratification of the Assembly. In such a case the Assembly sessions shall be terminated.
If the result of the referendum is in support of the Government, the Assembly shall be considered dissolved, otherwise, the President of the Republic shall accept the resignation of the Cabinet.
Article 128 - If the Assembly withdraws its confidence from any of the Prime Minister’s deputies or the Ministers or their deputies, he shall resign his office.
The Prime Minister shall submit his resignation to the President of the Republic if he is found responsible before the People’s Assembly.
Article 129 - Any twenty members at least, of the People’s Assembly may ask for the discussion of a public question to ascertain the Government’s policy regarding such a question.
Article 130 - The members of the People’s Assembly shall be entitled to express their opinions concerning public questions before the Prime Minister or any of his deputies or of the Ministers.
Article 131- The People’s Assembly may form an ad hoc Committee or entrust any of its committees with the inspection of the activities of any of the administrative departments or the general establishments or any executive or administrative organ or any of the public projects, for the purpose of fact - finding and informing the Assembly as to the actual financial, or administrative or economic situation thereof, or for conducting investigations into a subject related to one of the said activities.
In the course of its work, such a committee shall be entitled to collect whatever evidence it deems necessary and to subpoena all those it needs. All executive and administrative bodies shall answer the demands of the committee and put under its disposal all the documents and evidence it demands for this purpose.
Article 132 - At the inaugural meeting of the ordinary session of the People’s Assembly, the President of the Republic shall deliver a statement of the general policy of the State. He may also make other statements before the Assembly.
The Assembly is entitled to discuss the statement of the President of the Republic.
Article 133 - After the formation of the Cabinet and at the inaugural meeting of the ordinary session of the People’s Assembly, the Prime Minister shall submit the programme of his Government.
The People’s Assembly is entitled to discuss such a programme.
Article 134 - The Prime Minister, his deputies, the Ministers and their deputies may become members of the People’s Assembly. Those of them who are not members may attend the sessions and committee meetings of the Assembly.
Article 135 - The Prime Minister and the Ministers shall have the right to be heard in the Assembly sessions and committee meetings whenever they ask for the floor. They may ask for the assistance of the highranking officials of their choice. When taking votes a minister shall have no counted vote unless he is a member.
Article 136 - The President of the Republic shall not dissolve the People’s Assembly unless it is necessary and after a referendum of the People. In such a case, the President of the Republic shall issue a decision terminating the sessions of the Assembly and conducting a referendum within thirty days. If the total majority of the voters approve the dissolution of the Assembly, the President of the Republic shall issue the decision of dissolution.
The decision dissolving the Assembly shall comprise an invitation to the electors to conduct new elections for the People’s Assembly within a period not exceeding sixty days from the date of the declaration of the referendum results. The new Assembly shall convene during a period of ten days following the completion of elections.
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