Voting begins in decisive Egypt Senate elections

Voting began in Egypt Senate elections on Tuesday to determine 26 individual system seats in the country. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 09 September 2020

Voting begins in decisive Egypt Senate elections

  • The National Unified List won after gaining more than 5 percent of the vote in each district during the first round last August

CAIRO: The run-off round for the 2020 Senate elections in Egypt began on Tuesday to determine 26 individual system seats in the country.

Fifty-two candidates for the runoff round come from 14 governorates: Giza, Qalyubia, Port Said, Ismailia, Menofia, Kafr El Sheikh, Damietta, Beni Suef, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan and Matrouh.

The Senate, which was created in accordance with constitutional amendments approved last year, will act as an advisory chamber to the House of Representatives. It will sit in place of the Shoura Council, the upper house of parliament that was dissolved in 2014.

Voting by mail for Egyptians living overseas ended on Sept. 7.

The National Election Commission, headed by Lashin Ibrahim, said that 74 seats were decided by the single system in 13 governorates.

The National Unified List won after gaining more than 5 percent of the vote in each district during the first round last August.

Two-thirds of the Senate members are elected via the individual candidacy and closed party list systems, with the rest to be appointed by Egypt’s president. The first session of the Senate is set to be held in October, with its first 5-year term due to end in 2025.

Senate proposals focus on supporting democracy, social values as well as public freedoms and duties.

The Senate’s opinion is taken on proposals to amend one or more articles of the constitution, the draft general plan for social and economic development, peace and alliance treaties and all treaties related to the rights of sovereignty.

The Senate must inform the president and House of Representatives of its opinion on these matters, as organized by the house bylaws.


No Middle East peace without solving ‘Palestinian problem,’ says Russia

Updated 18 September 2020

No Middle East peace without solving ‘Palestinian problem,’ says Russia

  • Kremlin observes ‘progress’ in the normalization of ties in the region

MOSCOW: Russia said it would be a “mistake” to think of peace in the Middle East without resolving the Palestinian issue.

The Foreign Ministry statement came on Thursday after Israel normalized relations with long-time foes Bahrain and the UAE at the White House on Tuesday.

Russia said it noted “progress” in the normalization of ties between Israel and several Arab countries but said that “the Palestinian problem remains acute.” 

“It would be a mistake to think that without finding a solution to it that it will be possible to secure lasting stabilization in the Middle East.” 

Moscow urged regional and global players to “ramp up coordinated efforts” to solve the issue. 

“Russia is ready for such joint work,” including in the framework of the diplomatic Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators and in close coordination with the Arab League, the Foreign Ministry said. 

US President Donald Trump has said similar US-brokered deals are close between the Jewish state and several other nations. 

Bahrain and the UAE are the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. 

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that only an Israeli withdrawal from its occupied territories could bring peace to the Middle East.