Parliament winners announce choice for speaker

Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) President Mohamed Morsy announced Monday that his party has nominated Mohamed Saad al-Katatny, the party’s secretary general, as the speaker of the new parliament that is slated to conduct its opening session on 23 January.

“As a result of a meeting with a number of other parties, we agreed that the party with the majority votes in parliamentary elections will nominate the speaker,” Morsy said in a press conference, “while the two deputies shall be nominated by the next two parties in terms of the number of seats they won.”

This means that, according to official election results so far, the Salafi-oriented Nour Party and the liberal Wafd Party will each choose a deputy.

The FJP, Nour, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Construction and Development Party, Karama Party, and Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Construction and Development Party agreed with the arrangement at Monday’s meeting that preceded the conference. Wafd Party representatives, however, were absent from the meeting, and are to meet Tuesday to decide on their stance with regards to what was agreed.

Morsy said that the heads and deputies of the parliament committees will be determined though coordination with other parties in the parliament. Both the number of seats attained by each, as well as the professional experiences of the MPs, will be taken into consideration.

FJP leaders stressed their commitment to achieving the revolution’s demands.

“The main priority of this parliament would be the martyrs’ rights as well as those of the revolutions’ wounded,” said Katatny. “The parliament will work on meeting the revolution’s aspirations on both the legislative and monitoring levels. The parliament will not exclude any party regardless of its representation level in the parliament and all MPs will be managing it despite their different political orientation. This is the time for agreement, not competition.”

He added that the parliament will cooperate with both the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri’s government until power is handed over to an elected government. That is currently expected to take place in July, according to the military’s transition timetable.

Nour Party President Emad Eddin Abdel Ghafour mentioned that the party has yet to decide on its nominee for the parliament’s deputy speaker. He rejected the exclusion of any political force and asserted that both a party’s share of parliament and previous experience will be respected.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party President, Mohamed Abul Ghar, said in the conference that this agreement should not be mistaken for a parliamentary alliance or coalition and that it only concerns the first session of parliament and its structure.

Morsy stressed the parliament’s commitment to martyrs’ rights, and fair and speedy trials for their killers.

“The constituent assembly that will draft the constitution will reflect all the different colors of the Egyptian population without the hegemony of a certain force or ideology,” he said.

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