Egypt’s parliament approved on Tuesday a new law to create a National Electoral Commission (NEC) to be responsible for supervising elections and referendums in Egypt.
The new law filed by the cabinet puts an end to the full supervision of judicial bodies and completely eliminate them.
Parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal said during the session that Article 34 of the law, stating that judicial supervision over elections should be revoked by 2024, should have been removed. He explained that the implementation of this article is compelling as Egypt is the only country that has a judge for every voting box.
Article 34 stirred controversy as some of the MPs believe that there should be judicial supervision on the elections. However, Abdul Aal said that any changes to the article will be unconstitutional and void.
The coalition of 25-30 in the parliament also criticised the article, stressing that it will end the integrity of elections in Egypt.
The parliament’s legislative committee said in a report that the approval of the new law complies with Egypt’s constitution. Articles 208 and 209 in the constitution stipulate that full judicial supervision of elections should be thoroughly suspended within 10 years and the creation of a new committee instead.
Several MPs also argued that the constitution stipulates that NEC can use any number of judges in order to maintain transparency and integrity.
The board of NEC will consist of 10 members, one head and nine senior judges from the Sate Council, the Court of Cassation, the State Cases Authority, and several other judicial bodies, the report of the legislative committee concluded.