Egypt’s Parliament Meets After More Than Three-year Absence

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, seen here in the center at a Coptic Christmas event last year, overthrew the government of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood a year after he was elected. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO, Jan 10 – Egypt’s new parliament held its opening session on Sunday, state television reported, more than three years after a court dissolved the old Islamist-dominated chamber.

The body is expected to choose a speaker on its first day back, and now has 15 days to approve hundreds of laws issued by executive decree during the period when it was suspended.

Egypt’s last parliament was elected in 2011-12 in the country’s first free vote following a popular uprising that ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

But a court dissolved that parliament in mid-2012 after ruling that the election laws at the time were unconstitutional.

A year later, Mubarak’s elected successor, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, was himself overthrown by the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The new parliament, which will be dominated by an alliance loyal to now President Sisi, has 568 elected members plus another 28 appointed directly by him.

The new assembly was chosen in elections that critics said were undermined by a security crackdown on Islamist and other opposition groups.

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