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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

An uneventful first day back for House representatives

LEGISLATION WATCH- An uneventful first day back for House representatives: The House of Representatives’ first day back in session for a fourth legislative term yesterday was uneventful in the extreme as our elected representatives took time to wrap their heads around the idea that summer vacation is over. MPs face a busy agenda that includes changes to a basket of economic as well as political and social laws (You can catch up on that in our Enterprise One: Legislation Watch roundup here).

As a first order of business, House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal referred a law on the regulation of clinical trials and medical research back to the general assembly for review. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi refused to ratify the bill, citing a number of concerns. The President objected to a number of the bill’s clauses, including ones that prohibit and set harsh penalties for the transfer of human research samples outside of Egypt without obtaining approval from the government and intelligence authorities, Ahram Online reports. El Sisi said these provisions require reconsideration as they may prove problematic and could even hinder the scientific exchange between Egyptian universities and others abroad. The House had signed off on the law in May.

The issue got some air time last night on Al Hayah fi Misr (watch, runtime: 9:04). Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 5:12), and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 4:42).

Abdel Aal also referred a number of international agreements to the concerned committees to revise, including that on the development of a Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal area and another on Egypt signing on to an Arab League human rights charter. A draft law that governs the management of the national archives was also sent to the Culture Committee, while another on property registration fees was recalled by the government, which intends to draft new legislation to that effect, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

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