14 January 2013

Egypt: Shura Committee Rejects Quota for Copts in Parliament

The Shura Council's legislative and constitutional affairs committee on Monday rejected a proposal by a sub-committee to allocate a quota for the Copts through electoral lists in the upcoming parliament.

Head of the committee Mohamed Touson demanded giving this issue enough time in order to reach a crucial decision on it, the Middle East News Agency reported.

Touson said he "fears moving hastily towards a vote on such sensitive issue."

Safwat Abdel Ghani, a Building and Development Party MP, rejected this proposal, saying that it "wastes the rights of small parties that may win as they may be side-stepped for the sake of Coptic candidates".

The sub-committee had proposed an article saying that "a Coptic candidate should be declared winner in every governorate of the list with the least electoral representation in the list that follows".

"Having a Coptic MP represent every governorate in the parliament will not shake Egypt's image. We want to have someone to truly represent Copts, not someone who has no popularity in the street," MP Ramy Lakah said.

This does not shrink the share of Islamists in the parliament, Lakah added.

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