Egyptian parliament to convene January 10

Egyptian President calls for parliament to convene in January following recent legislative election.

Ben Ariel,

Egyptian parliament (archive)
Egyptian parliament (archive)

Egypt said Thursday that the country's new parliament will convene on January 10, for the first time in three years and weeks after a legislative election that was marred by a low turnout in the absence of any opposition, AFP reported.

The first parliamentary election since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013 was held in two phases between October 17 and December 2, and saw a turnout of only 28.3 percent.

"President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for the parliament to convene on January 10," presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef told AFP on Thursday.

Analysts say the new 596-member parliament is expected to rubber-stamp government decisions in the absence of the main Islamist opposition, the now blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

Before Sisi’s announcement of parliamentary elections in August, Egypt had been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, dominated at the time by the Brotherhood. 

Lawmakers were elected under a complex system of independent candidates and party lists.

All party list seats went to the For Love of Egypt coalition, an alliance of parties and groups that support Sisi, noted AFP. The individual seats went to a mix of party-affiliated candidates and independents.

The new assembly will also include 28 members appointed by Sisi on Thursday.

Sisi, who went on to become president, led Morsi’s ouster in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. 

The army then announced a "roadmap" to democracy in Egypt, which was followed by a crackdown on Islamists. 

Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters to death during the crackdown, many in mass trials condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as violating international law.