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Egypt’s National Dialogue Has No Voting Mechanism, President to Receive All Proposals: Coordinator

The Egyptian National Dialogue has no voting mechanism as all the to-be yielded proposals will be submitted to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, General Coordinator of the dialogue Diaa Rashwan said on Wednesday, stressing that there is no majority or minority in the dialogue.

During an extended meeting with foreign and Arab correspondents, Rashwan indicated that the Egyptian National Dialogue is not an alternative to state institutions – like the parliament or the government – and it cannot dictate what state institutions ought to do.

“The dialogue will propose legislations or executive decisions which will be submitted to the president [El-Sisi] to take the necessary actions, whether by presenting them to the House of Representatives, or by issuing executive decisions in their regard,” Rashwan said.

Among the correspondents who attended the three-hour meeting were those of Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

No red lines

According to the dialogue bylaws, all outcomes – whether they have consensus or not – will be submitted to the president, without using a voting mechanism and therefore there will be no majority or minority in all discussions within the national dialogue, according to Rashwan.

 “There are no red lines in the views, discussions or issues presented by all participants within the National Dialogue,” the general coordinator said.

The long-awaited National Dialogue kicked off on 3 May with several political forces, civil society groups, professional and labour unions, and public figures participating to discuss key political, economic, and social issues.

No timeframe

The general coordinator stated that “there is no specified timeframe for the National Dialogue” and it will function according to the timetables of the issues that are finalised.

The time line is primarily related to the participants in the dialogue themselves, and whenever there is agreements and specific proposals that are reached on one of the issues, he said “they will be submitted directly to the president.”

In this regard, Rashwan clarified by giving the example for what was done in the proposal for full judicial supervision of the general elections in Egypt.

Back in 23 March 2023, the Board of Trustees of the National Dialogue called for the renewal of the 10-year legislation which regulates the work of the National Election Authority in order to renew judicial supervision over all elections and referendums — set to expire in January 2024.

In response, El-Sisi directed the government to study the proposal made by the board of trustees to renew legislation that stipulates full judicial supervision over elections and referendums.

Pre-trial detention

Regarding pre-trial detainees, the general coordinator explained that after the president’s call for dialogue in April 2022, a list was received from the political forces that included 1,074 proposed detainees set for release.

“Since then, more than 1,400 pre-trial detainees have been released, and 17 others who have been sentenced have received presidential pardons,” Rashwan said. He added that now some of those who were released from prisons actively participate in the dialogue and contribute to building bridges of communication between various political forces.

Since President El-Sisi called for a national dialogue last year, the public prosecution released over hundreds of pretrial detainees and the president pardoned more than 15 people who were serving prison sentences.

Rashwan previously said that only a few of its members of the Civil Democratic Movement — a bloc including 12 opposition parties and groups — remain in prison, with the exception of one or two including activist Ahmed Douma.

Earlier, days before the inauguration of the dialogue, the general coordinator stressed that the issue of pre-trial detention would be uppermost in the human rights discussions’ agenda during the dialogue’s sessions.

Source: Ahram online

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