Salafi presidential hopeful wants Shura Council abolished

Salafi presidential hopeful Hazem Abu Ismail is proposing that Egypt cancel elections for the Shura Council, the upper house of Parliament, to expedite the upcoming presidential election and the transition to a civilian government.

Under former President Hosni Mubarak, the council did not have a strong role in legislation, merely reviewing draft laws and submitting recommendations on them before referring them to the lower house, the People's Assembly. This limited role remained unchanged through the March Constitutional Declaration.

The same declaration requires presidential candidates to win the support of at least 30 elected members from both chambers of Parliament. On his Facebook page Thursday, Abu Ismail proposed limiting the required support to the People's Assembly and doing away with the Shura Council.

Abu Ismail listed three steps for ending the transitional period: issuing an immediate constitutional declaration that abolishes the Shura Council, holding presidential elections before the end of April, and postponing the drafting of the constitution until the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces hands over power to the new government.

He also said a new constitution should not be drafted while the country is under military rule, as the process could be influenced by the SCAF.

Shura Council elections are scheduled to be held in two phases, on 29 and 30 January and 14 and 15 February. Runoffs for the first stage are scheduled for 7 February and the second stage for 22 February.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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