Next week’s parliamentary elections are supposed to move Egypt closer to democracy and end a situation in which Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, first as the country’s strongman then as an elected president, has governed for more than two years with few apparent checks and balances. But with almost no effective opposition expected to run or make a mark, critics and analysts say the 596-seat legislature will be little more than a rubber stamp, leaving the former military chief free to power ahead with a high-octane, one-man campaign to revive the economy and influence the region while curbing opposition at home. The staggered vote, starting next week and continuing through December, will give Egypt its first elected legislature in more than three years. The resulting chamber will also signal the completion of the third and final stage of a political road map announced by el-Sissi himself when, as military chief, he led the July 2013 ouster of the nation’s first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, following a wave of mass protests against Morsi’s rule.
Ironically, the next parliament will be the first elected after the adoption last year of a new constitution, arguably the most liberal Egypt has ever had, which empowers lawmakers, albeit under stringent conditions, to impeach the president, call for early presidential elections or withdraw confidence from the prime minster or individual members of his Cabinet.
El-Sissi’s democratic credentials have been the topic of much debate and a quiescent parliament will harken back to the 29-year rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, ousted in a popular uprising in 2011, when his National Democratic Party dominated the legislature — with election after election tainted with rigging, vote buying and police interference.
Full Article: Correction: Egypt Parliament story – Yahoo News.