Statement by President El Sisi on 150th anniversary of Parliament
Sunday، 09 October 2016 - 03:13 PM
In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Dr. Ali Abdel Aal, the Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives;
Mr. Roger Nkodo Dang, the President of the Pan-African Parliament;
Mr. Ahmed al-Jarwan, the President of the Arab Parliament;
Mr. Martin Chungong, the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union;
Speakers and members of the African and Arab parliaments;
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you in Egypt for celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Egyptian parliamentary life. I would like to seize this opportunity to thank you all for your participation in this important occasion.
In the beginning, I would like to greet the great Egyptian people and the leaders and members of the reverend Egyptian House of Representatives on this occasion which attests to the time-honored parliamentary life in Egypt where the first House of Representatives in the Arab world and Africa was established by a decree from Khedive Ismail in 1866 setting up the Representatives Shura Council.
Parliamentary life in Egypt has been over the past decades a mirror of the political, economic and social conditions in the country. The Egyptian Parliament has passed through major changes since its establishment in the middle of the 19th century until our present time. While the first Representatives Shura Council in Egypt started with 76 members for only debating the local interests and discussing ideas of the government to be referred to the Khedive, the current House of Representatives includes 596 members. Also, the Constitution of 2014 guaranteed for the House wide and unprecedented powers as it takes over four major missions represented in the legislative authority, adopting the general policy of the State, adopting the general plan for development and monitoring the executive authority. This makes us proud of what has been achieved by the Egyptian people throughout one century and a half.
Also, parliamentary life in Egypt, like any other country in the world, reflects the maturity and development of the political experience of this country through partisan representation in parliamentary life. When the Representatives Shura Council started in 1866 with only the representation of mayors and the notables it had only five committees while the current House of Representatives includes representatives of 19 political parties in addition to its independent members. It has also 25 committees; a state of affairs which reflects the development of parliamentary life in Egypt and shows the magnitude of responsibility the House of Representatives is shouldering.
Ladies and gentlemen;
Last year, Egypt has embarked on a new important phase of its legislative life through electing the widest parliament in its history either regarding the number of members or the representation of the various segments of the Egyptian people where the rate of youth representation hit 40 percent with women also getting 90 seats together with representing Egyptian expatriates and people of special needs for the first time in the history of parliamentary life in Egypt. This is meant to guarantee the participation of all categories of the Egyptian society in the decision making process in an effort to achieve their aspirations for establishing a new phase of the Egyptian political life.
Ladies and gentlemen;
The Egyptian House of Representatives started practicing its missions early this year amid unprecedented political and economic challenges and difficulties. This House had to undertake massive missions that were set by the Constitution with a specific timetable due to the special conditions coinciding with the transitional phase after Revolution. The new Egyptian parliament was capable to complete these legislative missions on time in addition to discussing and approving several necessary laws for pushing up the development process, achieving social justice and establishing the values of citizenship.
The Egyptian House of Representatives started a few days ago its second legislative term. While I am well aware of the massive missions on its shoulders, I have all confidence that members of the House will be capable to take difficult decisions for safeguarding the security of the homeland, achieving the hoped-for economic progress and holding high the national interests of the country through practicing the legislative and monitoring authorities with honesty and fairness. I am sure that the issues of education, health care, youth and women along with low-income brackets will be on top of their priorities.
Ladies and gentlemen;
The important role undertaken by parliaments in defending the interests of peoples is no secret to anybody. These parliaments are supporting the peoples' legitimate aspirations. The Egyptian parliamentary experience over decades now has proved the essential and major role of the parliament in the march of the nation. We are looking forward that the current House of Representatives would resume this march to translate the aspirations of the Egyptian people into viable legislation that help achieve the hoped-for economic and social development and meet the expectations of the Egyptian people who launched two successive revolutions to demand improving the conditions in their homeland and protecting its potentials.
In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to all participants who were keen to attend the celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the Egyptian parliamentary life. This major gathering expresses deep faith in the valuable role undertaken by the elected popular institutions in our countries. It also confirms keenness on supporting efforts for achieving security and progress for our peoples and nations.
Thank you very much.