FJP dominates People’s Assembly committee chairmanships

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political party on Tuesday won chairman elections for 10 of the 19 People’s Assembly committees, said Speaker Saad al-Katatny in a session broadcast on state TV.

The People’s Assembly also formed a values committee, which will be responsible for setting disciplinary rules for MPs during parliamentary sessions. The government used this committee in the past to punish opposition MPs.

The Freedom and Justice Party won the chairmanships of the most prominent parliamentary committees, such as the security and defense, foreign relations, budget and planning, and religious affairs committees.

FJP also will chair the youth, transportation, local administration, health, manpower and housing committees.

Abbas Mukhaimar, a former brigadier in the armed forces who ran in the elections on the FJP list, won chairmanship of the National Security and Defense Committee, which during former President Hosni Mubarak’s reign was headed by a security or military figure from the now-dissolved National Democratic Party.

Brotherhood leader Essam al-Erian will head the Foreign Relations Committee, while Saad al-Husseiny will head the Budget and Planning Committee.

The Religious Affairs Committee will be headed by Brotherhood leader Sayed Askar, a former mufti at Al-Azhar.

Mahmoud al-Khodairy, a former judge who ran on the FJP’s party list, was elected to head the Legislative and Constitutional Committee, which has a central role due to its responsibility for studying and formulating opinions on all laws proposed by MPs or the government.

Meanwhile, MP Mahmoud Abdallah Wahba of the Nour Party will head the Agriculture Committee; MP Anwar Esmat al-Sadat of the Reform and Development Party will head the Human Rights Committee; and MP Mohamed Abdel Moneim al-Sawy of the Hadara Party will head the Culture Committee.

The Values Committee will be headed by Nour Party MP and Deputy Speaker Ashraf Thabet, for which Khodairy and Askar were also selected as committee members.

The committee will also include MPs Essam al-Erian, Mostafa Bakry, Ziad Bahaa Eddin and Margaret Azer.

Elections for the People’s Assembly’s special committees were postponed at the end of the previous parliamentary session after a large number of liberal MPs and some independents rejected an agreement made by FJP and Nour Party MPs. They had agreed that FJP would head 15 committees and Nour would head four.

MP Mostafa al-Naggar of Adl Party said he boycotted the elections after FJP took over chairmanship of the majority committees, and because most candidates were elected unopposed.

On his Twitter account, Naggar said a number of parties, in addition to independent MP Amr Hamzawy, announced their withdrawal from the parliamentary committee elections.

During the past few days, discussions between representatives of the various parliamentary blocs resulted in Sawy’s heading of the Culture Committee and in Sadat’s heading of the Human Rights Committee.

A number of deputies belonging to liberal and leftist parties and movements were appointed as deputies and secretaries of committees.

FJP officials said its party showed great flexibility during the past two days in trying to resolve the problem and that it gave up the chairmanship of a number of committees.

It had said after 15 FJP and Democratic Alliance MPs had been nominated for chairmanship positions, this number was reduced to nine on Tuesday.

The People’s Assembly held its first session on 23 January, representing the first freely elected Parliament since the 25 January uprising ended an era of single-party domination.

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