"The Parliament... The gateway to reform"
Legislative Institution Performance Evaluation through Content Analysis of Session Minutes
19 - 12 - 2005 to 25 - 3 - 2006
"Forum for Development and Human rights Dialogue" releases today its report on the performance of the legislative institution in Egypt, with an extensive evaluation of the Parliaments capacity to support political and economic reform during the upcoming months, the report - almost in 100 pages - concluded with several remarks, on top of which:
46 sessions were held between 19-12-2005 and 25-3-2006, spanning almost 138 hours. During these sessions, 1105 demands of information, 535 prompt statements, 43 questions and 44 interpellations. 54 legislation projects were introduced, among which 11 were introduced by the government. There were as well 123 suggestions and 13 memorandums
Regarding legislation projects, the list is headed by MP Emad Al-Gelda who put forward 7 , MP Ali Laban who introduced 4, and MP Mohammed Khaleel Qweeta who introduced 3. MPs Mustafa Bakri and Mohammed AbdulAleem Dawood had the first rank regarding interpellations, with 7 interpellations each, MP Akram Al-Shaer comes next with 6, and then MPs Kamal Ahmed and Talaat Sadat with 4 interpellations each.
The categorization of governmental bodies that were addressed by the MPs came as the following table shows:
Body concerned ||Demand of information|| Prompt Statement|| Question|| Interpellation|
|Prime Minister|| 799 ||134 ||12|| 36|
|Interior Minister|| 322|| 79|| 2 ||6|
|Transportation Minister|| 312 ||7 ||2 ||4|
|Health and Population Minister|| 152 ||4 ||14 ||1|
|Education Minister|| 118|| - ||13 ||2|
|Investment Minister ||104 ||55 ||- ||4|
|Planning Minister ||97|| - ||1 ||1|
|Environment Minister ||87|| 1|| 3 ||1|
|Housing Minister ||72 ||2 ||3 ||-|
|Agriculture Minister ||21 ||1 ||- ||5|
|Foreign Minister|| 16 ||3 ||1|| -|
|Water Resources and Irrigation Minister|| 16|| 1 ||1 ||-|
|Administrative Development Minister|| 12|| - ||1 ||-|
|Industry Minister|| 11|| - ||- ||3|
|Religious Endowment Minister ||9|| 1 ||1 ||-|
|Labor Force Minister|| 8|| 1|| -|| -|
|Petroleum Minister|| 7|| - ||- ||1|
|Culture Minister ||7 ||- ||- ||-|
|Communication Minister|| 6|| 111|| 2 ||-|
|Social Solidarity Minister ||5|| -|| - ||-|
|Justice Minister ||5|| 2 ||- ||2|
|Finance Minister ||2 ||- ||2|| 1|
|National Youth Council President|| 4 ||- ||- ||-|
|Civil Aviation Minister|| 1 ||- ||- ||1|
|Electricity Minister ||1 ||- ||- ||-|
|Information Minister|| 1|| 1|| -|| -|
|Defense Minister || 1|| -|| - ||-|
The political formation of the Parliament was not successful - despite the considerable number of opposition and independent MPs - treating the failure of the parliament regarding its legislative and monitoring roles. The NDP majority still contributes to the passing of the legislations introduced by the government without essential amendments; this comes in the same time when the parliament gives facilities to the government which are not available for the MPs.
Women's performance has witnessed a set back, where the issues of women took only 14% of the activities of female MPs, MP Shahinaz Elnagar introduced 9 demands of information, a prompt statement, and a suggestion. Mp Gamalat Rafe'e introduced 4 demands of information, Mp Hayam Amer introduced 3, and Mp Ibtessam Habeeb introduced one. The appointed MP Georgette Quellini introduced one demand of information, one question, and a prompt statement along with 2 legislation projects. Whereas appointed MP Zainab Radwan introduced one demand of information and two legislation projects.
In the light of the forums observation of the parliamentary performance through discussions and monitoring instruments, the Egyptian Parliament is no more than a municipal council, as the regional and national issues were almost absent as the MPs concentrated on services and local issues of their constituencies.
The Health issue came as the first priority of the MPs; following were education, housing, environment, and investment issues.
As we are releasing this report, seeking to follow the steps of Human rights Organizations role in monitoring and observing the elections (Presidential and Parliamentary), we express our deepest conviction that observing and analyzing everything under the dome of the Parliament is a very difficult mission, yet we are trying to join all the civil efforts exerted for the sake of pressing the parliament to take over its tasks, and implement its monitoring of the government.
we assert that reform is not going to take place unless it went through the parliament, as the parliament is "the gateway to reform".