By POMED –
On November 29, Egypt’s parliament approved a restrictive new law to govern the country’s NGO community, which decried the law as an effort to “subordinate” NGOs to state authority. According to Article 123 of Egypt’s constitution, the president has 30 days after receipt to sign the bill into law or return it to parliament with objections. Forty-two days since the bill’s approval, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has yet to take action on the law. On December 10, al-Sisi publicly stated [Ar] that he had not yet received the bill from Parliament. Typically, after Parliament passes a bill, a parliamentary scribe hand-delivers the bill to the president within two hours of the end of the voting session; the Constitution does not stipulate the procedure in the case that parliament does not send an approved bill to the president.
Members of Parliament have offered [Ar] explanations on the fate of the bill.
MP Mohammed Abu Hamed, a proponent of the bill, posited [Ar] that linguistic revisions are most likely the cause of the delay. Dr. Abdel Hadi al-Qasabi, chairman of parliament’s Social Solidarity Committee, suggested [Ar] that such a large bill must be referred to the president for ratification gradually, hence delaying the process. MP Anwar Sadat filed an urgent request, according to Mada Masr, to learn the fate of bill, particularly since the president approved other pieces of legislation in the interim. Allison McManus of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy writes that “Sisi is likely merely biding his time for the opportune moment to sign the NGO Law” in hopes that the controversial law will receive less attention.