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Egypt: People’s Assembly Passes NGO Law with Two-Thirds Majority

(Dec. 2, 2016) On November 29, 2016, Egypt’s People’s Assembly approved a bill on regulating the work of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the country. The new law was drafted by Abdel Hady Al-Kasby, the head of the parliament’s Social Solidarity Committee. The law passed by a two-thirds majority of the members’ votes. After the approval by the People’s Assembly, the new law will be sent to the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, for signature. It will be enforced after its publication in the Official Gazette. (Gamal Essem El-Din, Egypt Parliament Finally Approves New NGOs Law, AHRAM ONLINE (Nov. 29, 2016).)

The bill faced criticism by members of civil society, human rights activists, some political parties, and some legal scholars. Individuals opposing the law argue that the government should have discussed its provisions with members of civil society. (Amira El-Fekki, Parliament’s First Drafted Legislation on NGOs Heavily Criticised, DAILY NEWS EGYPT (Nov. 30, 2016).)

According to news reports, the law will affect the work of 47,000 local NGOs and 100 foreign NGOs operating in Egypt. (Sarah El-Sheikh, Parliament Passes NGO Law with Two-Thirds Majority, DAILY NEWS EGYPT (Nov. 29, 2016); for background, see George Sadek, Egypt: Parliament Provisionally Approves Legislation Regulating NGOs, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Nov. 22, 2016).)