Egyptian parliament to convene for first time in three years

Egyptian parliament to convene after court weeks after parliamentary elections saw low turnout

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A general view of the first Egyptian parliament session

The Egyptian parliament is set to convene on Jan. 10 over three years since a court ordered the assembly to be dissolved.

Egyptians voted in the second round of parliamentary elections last month, but the overall turnout was low despite efforts to encourage voting.

The low turnout was widely believed to reflect the apathy of Egyptians towards voting in the absence of any strong opposition to the policies of President Abdel Fattah el Sisi.

Sisi was elected president in May 2014, ten months after the former army general toppled Egypt’s first elected president Mohamed Morsi in a military coup in July 2013.

After deposing Morsi, Sisi led a campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood movement to which Morsi belonged, imprisoning hundreds of its leaders and supporters.

A number of other activists have also been imprisoned, including those belonging to groups that participated in the 2011 revolution against former autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.

Debates on election law repeatedly delayed the gathering of the assembly, which was originally planned to convene in December.

Nonetheless, the re-convening of the parliament is expected to be seen as an endorsement of Sisi’s rule, with the vast majority of the parliament’s 596 seats - both elected and appointed - going to candidates in support of Sisi.

TRTWorld and agencies