Legislative Authority

Legislative Authority

Legislative Authority

Legislative Authority

- Constitution of Egypt

Legislative Authority

Section 1: Common provisions

Article 82: Legislative power

Legislative power belongs to the Council of Representatives and to the Shura Council.

Each exercises its respective authorities as set out in the Constitution.

Article 83: Prohibition on double membership

It is prohibited to be a member of both the Council of Representatives and the ShuraCouncil. The law specifies other cases of incompatibility.

Article 84: Incompatibility with other work

Save in exceptional situation set out by law, members of either the Council ofRepresentatives or the Shura Council are to be fully devoted to their offices. Amember’s position or work will be kept open until his return, in accordance with theprovisions of the law.

Article 85: Representative of the entire population

A member is the representative of the population as a whole, without restriction or limitation.

Article 86: Oath

Prior to the start of his tenure, a member takes the following oath before thechamber to which he belongs: “I swear by Almighty God to loyally uphold therepublican system, to respect the Constitution and the law, to fully look after theinterests of the people, and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrityof the motherland.”

Article 87: Challenges to the validity of membership

The Court of Cassation has final jurisdiction over the validity of membership in bothchambers. Challenges are submitted to the Court within a period not exceeding 30days from date on which the final election results are announced. A verdict must bepassed within 60 days from the date on which the challenge is filed.

Where a membership is deemed invalid, it becomes void from the date on which theverdict is reported to the chamber.

Article 88: Property and financial regulation

It is prohibited for any member of either chamber, throughout his tenure, whether inperson or through an intermediary, to purchase or rent any piece of state property. Itis also prohibited to lease or sell or barter with the state any part of their ownproperty, or conclude a contract with the state as vendor, supplier or contractor.

Members provide financial disclosures and present them to their chamber at thestart and at the end of their tenure as well as at the end of each year.

If a member receives cash or in-kind gifts by virtue of his membership in a chamber,ownership of such gifts is transferred to the Public Treasury.

All the foregoing is organized by law.

Article 89: Member opinions

A member cannot be held accountable for any opinions relating to his work in thechamber of which he is a member.

Article 90: Member immunity

It is prohibited, except in cases of flagrante delicto, to take criminal action against amember without prior permission from their chamber. If not in session, permissionmust be granted by the chamber’s secretariat, and the chamber must be notified ofthe decision as soon as the chamber is in session.

In all cases, if a request for permission to take legal action against a member does notreceive a response within 30 days, the permission is to be considered granted.

Article 91: Remuneration

Members are remunerated in accordance with the law.

Article 92: Seat of parliament

The seats of both the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council are in Cairo.

However, in exceptional circumstances, any of the two chambers may hold meetingselsewhere, at the request of the President of the Republic or one-third of thechamber’s members.

Any meetings of the chamber that do not conform with the foregoing are invalid,including any decisions that may have been passed.

Article 93: Public and in camera sessions

The sessions of the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council are held in public.

Either chamber may hold a closed session based on a request by the President of theRepublic, the Prime Minister, or at least 20 of its members. The chamber will decidewhether the debate on the question takes place in a public or closed session.

Article 94: Inauguration and adjournment of sessions

The President of the Republic convokes the Council of Representatives and theShura Council for their ordinary annual sessions before the first Thursday ofOctober. If such convocation is not made, the chambers are required by theConstitution to meet on said day.

The ordinary session continues for at least eight months. The President of theRepublic brings each session to a close with each chamber’s approval, and in the caseof the Council of Representatives, only after the state’s general budget has been adopted.

Article 95: Extraordinary sessions

It is possible for either chamber to be called to an extraordinary meeting based on arequest by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or upon a requestsigned by at least 10 members from the relevant chamber.

Article 96: Quorum and required majority

The meetings of the Council of Representatives or Shura Council, and theresolutions they pass, are not considered valid unless attended by the majority oftheir members.

In cases other than those requiring a special majority, resolutions are adopted basedon an absolute majority of the members present. In case of a tie vote, the matter indeliberation is considered rejected.

Article 97: Selection of speakers and deputy speakers

Each chamber elects, in the first meeting of its regular annual session, a speaker andtwo deputy speakers for the full legislative term in the case of the Council ofRepresentatives, and for half of the legislative term in the case of the Shura Council.If either seat becomes vacant, the Shura Council or Council of Representatives electsa replacement, whose term will last until the end of his predecessor’s.

In all cases, one-third of the members of either chamber can request a new electionof the Speaker or Deputy Speakers in the first meeting of the regular annual session.

Article 98: Replacement for the speaker

Where the speaker of the Council of Representatives or the speaker of the ShuraCouncil temporarily occupy the position of president of the republic, the relevantchamber will be chaired by the older of the two deputy speakers.

Article 99: Rules of Procedure

Each chamber establishes its own rules of procedure regulating its work and themanner of practicing its functions. The rules of procedure are to be published in theOfficial Gazette.

Article 100: Internal order

Each chamber maintains its internal order, a responsibility assumed by eachchamber’s speaker.

No armed forces may be present within or in vicinity of either chamber except at therequest of the chamber’s speaker.

Article 101: Legislative initiative

The President of the Republic, the government, and every member of the Council ofRepresentatives has the right to propose laws.

Every bill is referred to a specialized committee of the Council of Representatives,which studies it and submits a report to the Council.

Bills presented by members of the Council of Representatives cannot be referred tothat committee before being first endorsed by the Proposals Committee andapproved for consideration by the Council of Representatives. The reasons for whichthe bill is rejected must be presented if the Proposals Committee does not endorse aproposal for consideration.

A draft law proposed by a member but rejected by the Council of Representativesmay not be presented again during the same legislative term.

Article 102: Consideration of draft laws

Neither chamber may pass a bill without seeking consultation in relation to the bill.

Each chamber has the right to amend and break down existing clauses or suggestamendments.

Each bill passed by either of the chambers will be studied by the other, which in turncannot delay it for more than 60 days, excluding the legislative recess. It cannot beconsidered a law unless passed by both chambers.

Article 103: Legislative dispute between two chambers

In case of a legislative dispute between the two chambers, a joint committee of 20 members is formed, 10 selected by each chamber from among its members andbased on the nominations of its General Committee. The joint committee thenproposes the wording of the disputed clauses.

The proposals are then presented to each chamber; if an agreement is not reached,the case is taken to the Council of Representatives to reach a decision based on atwo-thirds majority vote.

Article 104: Approval of legislation

The Council of Representatives notifies the President of the Republic of any lawpassed for the President to issue the new law within 15 days from the date ofreceiving it. In case the President objects to the draft law, it must be referred back tothe Council of Representatives within 30 days.

If the draft law is not referred back within this period, or if it is approved again by amajority of two- thirds of the members, it is considered a law and is issued.

If it is not approved by the Council of Representatives, it may not be presented in thesame session before four months have passed from the date of the decision.

Article 105: Discussion of a public issue

Any member of either chamber may propose to the Prime Minister, one of hisdeputies or a minister the discussion of a public issue.

Article 106: Clarification of the government’s policy

Any 20 members of the Council of Representatives, or 10 of the Shura Council, atleast, may request the discussion of a public issue to obtain clarification on thegovernment’s policy in its regard.

Article 107: Right to obtain data or information

Any member of the Council of Representatives or the Shura Council has the right toobtain data or information pertaining to their own performance at the relevantchamber, taking into account the provisions of Article 47 of the Constitution.

Article 108: Submission of written proposals andcomplaints by citizens

Citizens may submit written proposals to either chamber regarding public issues.

Citizens may also submit complaints to either chamber to be referred to the relevantministers. Based on the chamber’s request, the minister may provide a clarification,and the citizen who issued the complaint is kept informed.

Article 109: Government attendance of sessions

The Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers and their deputies may attend thesessions of either chamber or of any of their committees. Their attendance isobligatory if requested by either chamber. They may be assisted by high-rankingofficials of their choice.

They are to be heard whenever they request to speak. They answer questionspertaining to issues that are in discussion, but cannot vote when votes are taken.

Article 110: Resignation of members

Each chamber accepts the resignation of its members, which must be submitted inwriting, and to be accepted must not be submitted after a chamber has startedmeasure of revoking membership against the resigning member.

Article 111: Revocation of membership

Membership of either chamber may only be revoked if a member has lost trust,status or any of the conditions for membership on the basis of which he was elected,or if the duties of membership have been violated.

Decision on revoking membership is issued by a majority of two-thirds of thechamber in question.

Article 112: Vacancy

If a member’s seat becomes vacant at least six months before the end of his term, thevacant position must be filled in accordance with the law within 60 days from thedate on which the vacancy is first reported.

The new member’s term is complementary to that of his predecessor.

Section 2: Council of Representatives

Article 113: Composition

The Council of Representatives has at least 350 members, elected by direct, secretpublic balloting.

A candidate for parliamentary elections must be an Egyptian citizen, enjoying civiland political rights, holder of a certificate of basic education, and 25 years old orolder at the time of candidacy.

Other requirements of candidacy, the provisions for election, the fairlyrepresentative division of constituencies, are defined by law.

Article 114: Term

The term of membership is five calendar years, commencing from the date of its first session.

Elections for a new Council of Representatives are held during the 60 days precedingthe end of term for the previous Council of Representatives.

Article 115: Mandate

The Council of Representatives holds legislative power, and is responsible forapproving the state’s general policy, the public plan for economic and socialdevelopment and the annual state budget law. It exercises control over the executivebranch’s work, in the manner prescribed by the Constitution.

The procedures for drafting the public plan for economic and social development,and presenting it to the Council of Representatives, are determined by law.

Article 116: Annual state budget law

The annual state budget includes all revenue and expenditure without exception.The draft annual state is submitted to the Council of Representatives at least 90days before the beginning of the fiscal year. It is not considered in effect unlessapproved thereby, and it is put to vote on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

The Council of Representatives may modify the expenditures in the draft budget law,except those proposed to honor a specific liability. Should the modification result inan increase in total expenditure, the Council of Representatives agrees with thegovernment on means to secure revenue resources to achieve a balance betweenrevenues and expenditures. The budget is issued in a law, which may includemodification in any existing law to the extent necessary to realize such balance.

If the new budget is not approved before the beginning of the new fiscal year, theearlier budget remains in effect until the new budget is approved.

The specifics of the fiscal year, the method of budget preparation, the provisions ofthe budgets of institutions, public bodies, and their accounts, are defined by law.

Article 117: Transfer of funds in the budget law

The Council of Representatives’ approval is necessary for the transfer of any fundsfrom one chapter of the budget to another, as well as for any expenditure notincluded therein or in excess of its estimates. The approval is issued in a law.

Article 118: Collection and disbursement of public funds

The basic rules for collection of public funds and the procedure for theirdisbursement is regulated by law.

Article 119: Salaries, pensions, indemnities, subsides andbonuses

The rules governing salaries, pensions, indemnities, subsides and bonuses taken fromthe state treasury are regulated by law; so are the cases for exception from suchrules, and the authorities in charge of their application.

Article 120: Council of Representatives’ approval forcontracting loans

The executive branch of government cannot contract a loan, obtain a fund, orcommit itself to a project entailing expenditure from the state treasury for asubsequent period, except with the Council of Representatives' approval.

Article 121: Final account

The final account of the annual state budget is submitted to the Council ofRepresentatives within a period not exceeding 6 months from the end of the fiscalyear. The annual report of the Central Auditing Organization and the latter’sobservations on the final account must be attached.

The final account of the annual state budget is put to vote on a chapter-by-chapterbasis and is issued by law.

The Council of Representatives has the right to request from the Central AuditingOrganization any additional data or pertinent reports.

Article 122: Special investigative committees

The Council of Representatives may form a special committee or entrust one of itsexisting committees to examine the activities of any administrative department orinstitution or public enterprise, for the purpose of fact-finding regarding a specificissue and informing the Council of Representatives of the actual financial,administrative or economic status, or for conducting investigations into a pastactivity; the Council of Representatives decides on the appropriate course of action.

In order to carry out its mission, such a committee would be entitled to collect theevidence it deems necessary and to summon individuals for interviews. All executiveand administrative bodies respond to demands by the committee and put under itsdisposal all the documents and evidence required.

Article 123: Request for information

Every member of the Council of Representatives may submit questions to the PrimeMinister, to one of his deputies, or to a minister in relation to any matter that fallsunder their mandate. It is obligatory to respond.

The member may withdraw his question at any time. A question cannot become aninterrogation in the same session.

Article 124: Briefings and statements

Every member of the Council of Representatives may request an urgent briefing or astatement from the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s deputies, or to ministers inrelation to urgent matters of public importance.

The government is obliged to respond.

Article 125: Interrogation

Every member of the Council of Representatives may address interrogations to the Prime Minister, to the Prime Minister’s deputies, or to ministers in relation to urgentmatters of public importance.

Debate on an interrogation takes place at least seven days after its submission,except in cases of urgency as decided by the Council of Representatives and with thegovernment’s consent.

Article 126: Withdrawal of confidence

The Council of Representatives may decide to withdraw its confidence from thePrime Minister, a deputy of the Prime Minister, or any one of the ministers.

A motion of no confidence may be submitted only after an interrogation, uponproposal by one-tenth of the Council of Representatives’ members. The Council ofRepresentatives should reach a decision within seven days from the date of debatingthe motion. A withdrawal of confidence requires a majority of the Council of Representatives’ members to be successful.

In all cases, a no confidence motion may not be passed in connection with an issuethat had already been decided upon in the same juridical term.

If the Council of Representatives decides to withdraw confidence from the PrimeMinister or a minister, and the government announced its solidarity with him beforethe vote, then that government is obliged to offer its resignation. If the no confidenceresolution concerns a certain member of the government, that member is obliged toresign their office.

Article 127: Dissolution of the Council of Representatives

The President of the Republic may not dissolve the Council of Representativesexcept by a causative decision and following a public referendum.

A Council of Representatives may not be dissolved during its first annual session, norfor the same cause for which the immediately previous Council of Representativeswas dissolved.

To dissolve the Council of Representatives, the President must issue a decision tosuspend parliamentary sessions and hold a referendum within 20 days. If voters agree by a valid majority on the dissolution, it is to be carried out. The President callsfor early parliamentary elections to take place within 30 days from the date of thedissolution. The new Council of Representatives convenes within the 10 daysfollowing the completion of elections.

If no such majority agrees to the dissolution, the President of the Republic resigns.
If, however, the referendum or elections do not take place within the specified timelimit, the existing Parliament reconvenes of its own accord on the day following theexpiry of the time limit.

Section 3: Shura Council

Article 128: Composition

The Shura Council has at least 150 members, elected by direct secret ballot. ThePresident of the Republic may appoint a number of members not exceedingone-tenth of the number of elected members.

Article 129: Conditions for candidacy

A candidate for the Shura Council must be an Egyptian citizen enjoying civil andpolitical rights, a holder of a certificate of higher education, and, at the time ofcandidacy, at least 35 years old.

Other requirements of candidacy, the provisions for election, the division ofconstituencies, are defined by law.

Article 130: Term

The term of membership of the Shura Council is six years, whereas renewed electionand appointment of 50 percent of the total number of members, whether elected orappointed, is every three years, as defined by law.

Article 131: Effect of dissolution of Council of Representatives

In the case of the dissolution of Council of Representatives, the Shura Council carriesout its joint legislative responsibilities. Any bills passed by the Shura Council duringthe period of Council of Representatives' dissolution are presented to the newCouncil of Representatives for consideration as soon as it is convened.

In the absence of both chambers, and where there is a requirement for urgentmeasures that cannot be delayed, the President of the Republic may issue decreesthat have the force of law, which are then presented to the Council ofRepresentatives and the Shura Council, as the case may be, within 15 days from thestart of their sessions.

If such decrees are not presented to the chambers, or if they are presented but notapproved, their legality is revoked retroactively, unless the Council affirms theirvalidity for the previous period, or chooses to settle the consequent effects in someother manner.

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