Egypt’s parliament admits 90% of MP memberships may be invalid

Amaal Othman, the head of the Egyptian parliament's Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee admitted on Saturday that the membership of 486 MPs could be invalid. This step could lead to the dissolution of parliament before the end of its session in 2015.

This number constitutes more than 90 percent of the 518 MPs in parliament, of whom 10 are directly appointed by the president.

Several candidates in the 2010 parliamentary election submitted complaints accusing the governmental bodies supervising the electoral process of fraud and vote manipulation. Several administrative courts across Egypt made rulings that nullified the election in a number of constituencies as a result.

Amaal Othman said the committee has referred 1527 appeals challenging the parliamentary election results to the Court of Cassation so it can prepare a report to submit to parliament, reported the state-run news agency MENA.

Othman did not say why the complaints were referred to the Court of Cassation. However, she did say that the committee will examine the report it prepares in order to decide conclusively on the validity of those MPs' membership.

Othman added that the membership of only 22 elected MPs, as well as the 10 appointed by the president, have not been challenged. Their membership will be declared valid next week.

The ruling National Democratic Party obtained a sweeping victory in the recently-concluded parliamentary poll. It won more than 90 percent of parliamentary seats in an election widely viewed as fraudulent.

Parliament has habitually rejected any complaints challenging MPs' memberships in previous sessions, stating that it has the exclusive right to decide on the validity of membership.

On Wednesday, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, said that the ruling regime must dissolve parliament in order to prevent a Tunisia-style revolution in Egypt.

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