Egypt Watch

Four potential candidates for presidency of Egypt’s senate

Informed sources close to the Egyptian Council of Ministers have said that several names were raised during discussions of who would take over the presidency of the senate, for which elections will run this month. The sources revealed that Chancellor Abdel Wahab Abdel Razek, the former president of the Supreme Constitutional Court and the head of Mostakbal Watan (Nation’s Future Party), is at the top of the list of candidates. Opponents say that his party (Nation’s Future) is the political arm of the Egyptian intelligence.

The sources added that the list of nominations also includes the current Speaker of Parliament, Ali Abdel-Aal, provided that someone else is assigned his current position.

Among the nominations is the former president of the Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, who assumed power (temporarily) after the military coup on July 3, 2013, for one year. Also among the candidates is the former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Moufid Shehab, and the head of the Parliament’s Legislative and Constitutional Committee, Bahaa al-Din Abu Shuga.

The senate consists of 300 members. Two thirds of its members are elected, and the country’s president appoints the remaining third, with no less than 10 per cent of its seats allocated to women. The term is five years. Opponents criticise the new council, which is similar to the Shura Council (1980-2012) that was permanently cancelled in 2014, because it has no powers. Observers say that the Senate/Shura council is merely a tool for the businessmen loyal to the regime to obtain parliamentary immunity.