The Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb has recently met with various political coalitions to discuss the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2015 and the new elections law. The elections are the last and vital step in the transition to democracy. CCTV America’s Yasser Hakim reported this story from Cairo.
Debate continues on the merits of the election law and whether it will produce an all-inclusive assembly. There are two issues at stake, demarcating the borders for the candidates and the election process itself.
“The government will finalize the demarcation first to ensure that all areas, especially the small border cities are represented in parliament. We will then work on the election law,” Maleb said.
The timeline for the process is set for February, as elections are expected in March.
The election law has seen heavy criticism. Of 540 open seats, about 420 seats will be allotted to individual candidates, while 120 will be for candidates on closed lists, where the winning list in a district takes all the seats in the district, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“This system will allow corrupt businessmen, the Mubarak remnants and extremist to garner seats because it depends on the power of money and leaves little room for new political parties to have any recognized presence. It’s not about who is better but who is richer,” said Refaat Al Dabe, a former parliament member.
The opposition said there should be a balance between individuals and lists, and that lists should not be closed. Others also felt that for newly formed parties to be effective, fresh elections must conducted.
“The local council elections should come first. It would be a good training and experience for the new parties and youth, so they can be ready for the parliamentary elections. Otherwise they are sure to lose to the experienced and corrupt politicians,” said Abdel Salam Saby, a member of Almotamar party.
The government said it will put these remarks into consideration when amending the election law.