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Egyptian President Completes Upper House of Parliament

RIA Novosti

04:40 23/12/2012

CAIRO, December 23 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi completed the upper house of the country's parliament by appointing 90 new members in a special decree, made public on Sunday.

Two thirds of 270 members in the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's bicameral legislature, are elected by a nationwide vote, while one third is appointed by the president.

Shura Council polls took place in the beginning of 2012. They were won by various Islamist parties and movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood party.

"The [presidential] appointments to the Shura Council were made within the framework of the national dialog, initiated by the head of the state several weeks ago in order to allow various political forces and social strata to participate in governing the state," the presidential administration said in a statement on Sunday.

Representatives of 17 political parties are on the presidential list, 12 of them never made it into the parliament before.

The list of the new Shura Council members also includes 12 Christian Coptic church representatives, eight female rights activists and 18 nominees by Islamic religious institutions, as well as judges, prosecutors, athletes and representatives of trade and student unions.

The decree was made public a day before the final results of the referendum on the country's new constitution are to be announced. If the constitution is approved, the upper house be vested with a vast part of legislative powers earlier held by the president.



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