A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Surprise: New Egyptian Parliament Dominated by Pro-Sisi Forces

I haven't written much about the final results of Egypt's Parliamentary elections because, frankly, Egyptians didn't pay much attention either, as evidenced by the low turnout, which even the official media noted.

While there are still a few challenged results and the President will appoint additional members, Egypt's new unicameral House of Representatives (replacing the bicameral People's Assembly and Shura Council), on the one hand, is not a monolithic body dominated by a single party as in past eras, but rather a mix of many parties and independents representing a range across he ideological spectrum. The catch is the vast majority support President al-Sisi's policies, and the other catch is that the body may have less power than the dissolved Islamist Parliament elected in 2011.

The seats allocated to Party Lists 120, were all taken by the "For the love of Egypt" coalition, a lierl.secularist coalition of a number of parties. The remaining seats, allocated by individual constituency competition, also saw the members of the coalition do well, with the Free Egyptians Party, founded by Naguib Sawiris, the venerable liberal Wafd, and the new and little-known Future of the Homeland Party leading the secular parties. The only Islamist Party running, al-Nour, alsoately well but nothing like 2011 when it was the largest bloc in Parliament.

Now most of the liberal secular parties are negotiating to form a pro-Sisi bloc. There are some differences. The most pro-Sisi elements want, as Sisi himself has suggested, to amend the 2014 Constitution to restore some of the reductions made to Presidential power from the Sadat-Mubarak era.

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