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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

A new boss in the House

Meet your new House speaker: Hanafi Gebali. Judge and former president of the Supreme Constitutional Court Hanafi Gebali was elected as the speaker of the House of Representatives in yesterday’s inaugural session of the new parliament, succeeding Ali Abdel Aal who didn’t stand for reelection, Al Masry Al Youm reported. El Gebali won with an overwhelming majority, netting 508 of 576 votes cast.

What was his competition? Gebali was up against Mohamed Abou Hamila, a prominent member of the Republican People's Party, Mohamed Madina, a member of El Wafd party, and Ahmed Darrag, MP for Samannoud, according to Masrawy.

And who is he, exactly? Gebali was elected as an independent, but ran as part of the National List of Egypt, which is backed by the pro-government Mostaqbal Watan Party. He has served as chief justice and deputy chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. Ahram Gate has a full bio of the new House speaker.

As for Abdel Aal… The now-former speaker will serve as a regular MP throughout the five-year legislative cycle. He was re-elected to the House in November as part of the list.

Reps. Mohamed Aboul Enein and Ahmed Saad El Din, meanwhile, were elected as deputy speakers, succeeding Soliman Wahdan and Elsayed Elsherif. Aboul Enein is a long-serving member of the House and chairman and founder of ceramics giant Cleopatra Group, while Saad El Din was the former House secretary-general.

Yesterday’s session was a first for female political representation: Farida El Shobashy, the House’s oldest member, became the first woman to preside over a parliamentary session in Egypt. El Shobashy told Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer last night that this is the first time that 25% of parliament members are women (watch, runtime: 2:45).

The session received a lot of attention on the airwaves last night: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal covered the day’s events (watch, runtime: 2:58 | 0:47), Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan phoned MP Ahmed El Seginy (watch, runtime: 4:12), and Mostafa El Feki talked to Yahduth Fi Misr's Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 2:26).

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