Preparations for Egypt’s long-delayed parliamentary elections will begin next week as the polls “will be back to square one,” said Ibrahim Al-Heneidy, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Transitional Justice on Wednesday. Heneidy told parliamentary reporters that the elections, which were originally scheduled to be held in two rounds between 21-22 March and 6-7 May, were put on hold after the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled on the first of March that the electoral constituencies law to be unconstitutional. The court found the law violated Article 102 of the constitution which stipulates that equal representation among voters in all constituencies must be guaranteed. “We feel sorry that parliamentary elections were postponed for constitutional reasons, but we hope new preparations will be back on track next week and that a new timetable for the polls will be set within one month or even less,” Heneidy said.
He also observed that a government-affiliated committee which took charge of drafting the current electoral constituencies’ law will be the one entrusted again with putting a new draft in line with SCC’s ruling. “But the scope of this committee will be widened this time to include representatives from mainstream political forces in a bid to reach consensus over the new draft,” said Heneidy.
The committee is expected to meet only after the SCC delivers another ruling about whether the house of representatives’ law – widely known as the parliamentary elections law – is constitutional, Heneidy said.
The SCC said on Tuesday it will deliver rulings on two petitions contesting the constitutionality of the house of the representatives law on 7 March or next Saturday.