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President Sisi reaffirms commitment to democracy to IPU

By Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, June 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Egypt's new president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has reaffirmed his commitment to democracy today (10/6) during talks with IPU President Abdelwahad Radi in Cairo and called for greater support for his country and the region.

During the hour-long meeting, President Sisi underlined his support for human rights and for efforts to ensure more women are involved in parliament and other political processes and decision-making.

He also expressed appreciation for IPU's work in Egypt to put in place a fully functioning and representative parliament. An agreement was signed between Egypt and IPU in March this year setting out priority action to make this happen.

IPU has already provided advice on a new electoral law that would include ambitious and strong affirmative action measures. This would help ensure the next parliament would have a minimum number of women and other under-represented groups.

An IPU assessment team is also in Egypt this week to identify key challenges facing the development of a new parliament. This includes strengthening the skills of parliamentary staff by establishing a training and research institute for staff and newly-elected MPs. IPU will also be working together with Egyptian authorities to review existing parliamentary practices and procedures.

President Sisi also called for a more permanent IPU presence in Egypt and the wider region as a whole. Earlier this year, IPU opened an office in Cairo to facilitate its support programme for a new parliament.

Egypt is due to hold parliamentary elections this year as the next step in the process to put the Arab country back onto a democratic path.

President Radi, who was present at the inauguration of President Sisi on 8 June, has also held talks with various Egyptian ministers, including the Minister of the Council of Deputies.