Rise and Development
Many changes have been introduced to the Law of Local Administration since 1960. For instance:
- Law No 57/1971 provided for the establishment of local people’s councils;
- 1979 saw the promulgation of a new law on local administration, to which amendments were introduced in 1981 (Laws 50 and 168) and in 1982 (Law 162);
- Law No 84/1996 was promulgated with the purpose of enforcing the ruling issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court that Article 47 of the Law on Local Administration which provided that one member of each local people’s council would be elected by direct ballot whereas other members would be chosen from party lists was unconstitutional;
- Republican Decree No. 380/1999 was promulgated instituting a ministry of local development with 20-odd competencies; and
- Law No. 96/2003 was promulgated amending Article 10 of the Law on Local Administration and incorporating two articles pertaining to the establishment of a local people’s council for Luxor, a special-character city.
- Article no. 3 in the law 43/1979 states that: each unit of the local government shall have a local popular council, to be formed of members elected by direct election , according to the provision of this law. Half of the members at least shall be of the workers and peasant, provided that there should be among the members a female element, as per indicated by this law executive regulations.
Local Councils in the Constitution
The President shall be elected by direct, public, secret ballot. For an applicant to be accepted as a candidate to presidency, he shall be supported by at least 250 elected members of the People’s Assembly, the Shura Council and local popular councils on governorate level, provided that those shall include at least 65 members of the People’s Assembly, 25 of the Shura Council and ten of every local council in at least 14 governorates.
The number of members of the People’s Assembly, the Shura Council and local popular councils on governorate level supporting candidature shall be raised in pro rate to any increase in the number of any of these councils. In all cases, support may not be given to more than one candidate.
Procedures related to this process shall be regulated by the law.
Article no. 188 in the New Egyptian constitution for 2012 states that:
Every Local Unit shall elect a Local Council by direct, secret ballot for a term of four years. Representatives from the executive apparatus of the Local Unit shall form part of the Council but have no counted vote. Every Council elects its President and Deputy from among its elected members. Conditions and procedures for nomination and election are regulated by law.
Mission and Responsibilities
- To establish and administer public facilities, with the exception of those deemed national or of special nature as per Presidential decree.
- The Governorate Council to supervise and monitor the activities of city and village councils, including approving their decisions.
- To approve draft budgets and final statements.
- To recommend ways of increasing productivity
- To levy taxes and fees within their local boundaries.
Membership of Local Popular Councils
Members of local people’s councils are elected by direct ballot; 50 per cent are workers and farmers.
The following articles from LAW 43/1979 determines who is eligible to become a member of the LPCs and how as follows:
- The one who is to be nominated as member of the local popular councils should fulfill the following conditions:
- To enjoy the nationality of the Arab Republic of Egypt .
- To be at least 25 years of age, complete, at the election date.
- To be enrolled in list s of election , in the local unit at which he nominates himself within its circle, and to have a residence within its precinct.
- To be conversant in reading and writing.
- To have performed compulsory military service, or exempted from it according to law .
- It is not permissible for the individuals of the armed forces, or police, or members of the Judicial authorities, to be nominated for the membership of the local popular councils before submitting their resignations from their offices.
- Also, it is not permissible for the mayors of villages, or their assistants, or heads of local units, or directors of departments, or chairmen of executive machinery within the scope of these units to nominate themselves for the membership of the local popular councils of the local units which enter within the competence scope of their positions, prior to submitting the resignation therefrom.
- Taking into consideration the rules organizing resignation from the armed forces, and police, the resignations referred in the previous two paragraph are considered to be accepted upon their submission .
- Electing the members of the local popular councils shall be through direct election in the parties, lists; and for each list a sign shall be specified, by which a decision shall be issued by the governor. Each list must comprise a number of candidates equal to the number requested to be elected, and a number or reserve candidates estimated to half the number of the original members observing that among the original and reserve candidates there shall be an element of women, and the half of the number of original and reserve candidates at least shall be of workers and peasants.
- The elector must express his opinion by selecting one of the lists completely; and the votes shall be void which elect more than one list or candidates from more than one list, or the conditional votes or which are given to more or less than the number needed to be elected; or if the elector puts down his opinion in writing on a list other than that handed to him by the head of the committee, or hanged a sheet of paper on which the elector’s signature or any sign or other mark being indicative to him.
- The candidate shall submit the nomination application for the membership of the local popular council in writing to the governorate, or to one of the local government units located within its scope, attached with an approved copy of the party’s list to which he belongs, in which his enrollment is indicated; and that shall be during the period which is to be fixed by the governor, provided it shall not be less than ten days as of the date of opening nomination.
- The application for nomination shall be accompanied by a receipt of depositing an amount of twenty pounds if the nomination is for the membership of the governorate local popular council and ten pounds if the nomination is for the membership of the local popular council of the district, or quarter; and five if the nomination was for the membership of the village local popular council.
- The application for nomination should be attached with the documents to be specified by the Minister of Interior in a decision by him to confirm fulfilling the conditions necessary for the nomination. The candidate whose age exceeded the legal age of military service shall be exempted from submitting certificate of performing military conscription, or the exemption thereof.
- The papers and documents to be submitted by the candidate shall be considered official papers in applying the provisions of the penal law.
Nomination applications shall be recorded in special register according to the dates of their arrival; and receipts for them shall be given; and in respect of their submission , the procedures specified by the governor – through a decision by him – shall be followed.
- Through a decision by the governor , a committee or more shall be formed in each division , district, and town, headed by a member of the judicial authorities of the degree of a judge, or a representative of the prosecution , or the like, and the membership of a representative of the security administration , and a representative of the concerned governorate.
- These committees shall take charge of the nomination applications for the membership of the local popular councils and preparing the lists of nominees.
- A list including panels of nominees in the local unit – shall be displayed in the way to be specified by the governor in a decision by him , for a period of a t least the ten days following the closing date fixed for the nomination. The names of those nominees and the distinguishing mark which is evident for each of them, and the panel to which the nominee belongs – shall be defined in this list.
- Each nominee – shall have his name, enrolled in one of the panels, but if, his name did not appear in the mentioned list – is entitled to request from the committee stipulated upon, in the previous Article, to enroll his name during the period stipulated upon in the previous paragraph.
- Each nominee is entitled to protest against the enrollment of the name of any of the nominees, or to demonstrate incorrect quality before his name or other name of the nominees during the period of displaying the lists.
- Each party to which one of the nominees belongs, is entitled to practice the right stated in the previous two paragraphs.
- A committee or more , to be formed by a decision from the governor in each governorate, headed by a member of the Judicial authorities of the degree of counselor or the like, and the membership of a member of the Judicial authorities on the degree of a judge or the like at least, to be chosen by the Minister of Justice, and a representative of each of the Security Administration, and the governorate – shall render judgment about the contestations submitted against the decisions which are issued according to the provision of the second paragraph, and the contestations which are submitted pursuant to the third paragraph.
- Rendering judgment about these contestations shall be effected during a period of fifteen days at maximum as of the closing date of nomination.
- The lists of nominees in all local government units shall be published by sticking them in the governorate residence, and the concerned local popular council residence.
- The nominee is entitled to obtain an official copy – exempted from stamp duty – of panel of electors in the local unit, in which he is nominated, in return of a fee fixed by a decision from the governor, provided this fee shall not exceed two pounds.
- This official copy shall be handed to the nominee during ten days at maximum from the date of submitting the application.
- The nominee is obligated to follow the morals of electoral propaganda which shall be issued in a decision by the Minister of Interior.
- It is permissible for the governor to remove by the administrative way on the cost of the nominee, all stuck bills and other propaganda facilities which are made in contrast with the provisions of the referred to decision.
It is not permissible for any nominee to nominate himself in more than one local unit; and in case he nominated himself in more than one unit , he is considered to be a nominee in the unit which he was first nominated therein.
- If the office of one of the nominees is vacant , as a result of assignment, death , or the contestation against nomination is being accepted by the committee stipulated upon, in Article (79),the party possessing the list, should nominate another name to take his place, provided this shall net violate the ratio stated for workers and peasants, or for the women representation.
- The assignment of nomination shall be through a notice at the hand of process server , or by declaration to be presented personally by the nominee to the concerned governor prior to the election day by seven days at least.
In emergencies , the governor is en titled to shorten the appointed times stipulated upon in Articles (76) , (79) , and (83) of this law.
If not more than one party panel is submitted , the election shall be declared for the nominees whose names a r e mentioned in the submitted panel, by recommendation.
- Taking into account ‘the provisions of this law , and its executive regulations, the provisions mentioned in the Law No . 73 for 1956 organizing the practice of the political rights – shall be applicable in respect to the local popular councils.
- The security administration shall manage election process for the membership of such councils; and shall participate in election, all the elector s recorded in the election’s panels of the local unit in which it takes place.
- The members of the local popular councils shall be elected according to the party’s panels which acquired the absolute majority of the number of correct votes which were given in the election.
- If the absolute majority is not fulfilled for any of the panels, the election shall be repeated between the two panels which acquired plurality of votes.
- The governor shall announce the result of the elections, and invite the local popular councils to the meeting. The councils should hold the meeting with in thirty days as of the date of announcing this result.
- The concerned administrative court shall render judgment on the challenges regarding the validity of membership; and the suit case should be raised within thirty days as of the date of announcing the result of the elections.
After announcing the result of the elections , the applicant for nomination shall be reimbursed the amount which was deposited by him in the governorate treasury , after deducting what shall be due on of the expenses for the removal of sticking bills pursuant t of the Article (81) of this law.
The member of the local popular councils , shall swear in the council the following oath, before practicing the duties of membership: “I swear , in the name of Almighty God, that I shall maintain faithfully the safety of homeland and the Republican order & to observe the public interest, to respect the Constitution and law.”
The duration of the local popular council shall be four Gregorian years, starting from the date of its first meeting. The duration of the local popular councils subject to the supervision and control of other local popular councils shall end by the expiry of the legal period for these councils.
The member of the local popular council shall not be paid any salaries or compensations in return for his job ; and it is permissible to grant the members of the local councils and executive councils a recompense in return of the efforts sustained by them, according to what shall be specified in the executive regulations.
- The member of the local popular council shall not be answerable about what he expresses of opinions during the meeting , and debates of the council and its committees.
- The competent authorities must notify the local popular council with what shall be taken against the members of the council of criminal procedures, within forty eight hours at maximum of the date of taking these procedures. Also , it is necessary to notify it before practicing any disciplinary procedures, against them, if they were from the staff of the administrative machinery of the State, of the public sector, or the private sector; and in all cases, the council shall be notified with the investigation results and it is necessary to obtain the approval of the local popular council before carrying out displacement of a member of the council from his office, unless the removal was according to his request and the quarter at which the member of the local popular council is employed – must facilitate for him performing the membership duties according to the rules and conditions which shall be defined in the executive regulations.
- It is not permissible to appoint members of the local popular council in offices of the local government units or to displace them thereto, during their membership period, except by the approval of two thirds of the members of the concerned local popular council, and the majority of members of the governorate local popular council.
It is prohibited to conclude contracts personally or in directly, between the local unit and any member of its local popular council, nevertheless, it is permissible – when necessary, and in the case of the existence of an established interest for the local unit to conclude a contract with the member after the approval of the majority of the members of the local popular council and the competent governor.
It is prohibited for the member of the local popular council to attend the meetings of the council or its committees if he or one of his relatives or his sons in law or brothers in law up to the fourth degree – has personally (or indirectly) a private interest in the submitted matter; or if he is a legal guardian, or a custodian, or a representative of the person having such interest therein.
The resignation of the local popular council membership shall be submitted to its chairman, who should submit it to the council in the first session following its submission; and the resignation is assumed to be accepted by the approval of the council thereupon; and in this case the council shall state the vacancy of the office; and the chairman of the council shall notify the governor with the vacancy of the office.
- In case the member is absent from the meetings of the local popular council, or its committees for more than three consecutive times, or from one quarter of the number of the council meetings in the one session, without an acceptable excuse, the council shall issue a resolution for calling the member to listen to his utterance in a meeting to be fixed after fifteen days at least of the date of notifying the member of its appointed time.
- The council shall issue a resolution by assuming the member resigned , by the majority of two thirds of its members, if it is not convinced with what is expressed by the member of his self defence, or if the member did not attend the referred to meeting.
- The membership of the local popular council shall be dropped from those – whose quality <I~ worker or peasant upon which his election was based – had been disappeared, or by missing one of the conditions necessary for nomination; and membership must be dropped from the one whose violation of the provisions of Article (92) is established, or who is derived from confidence, or respect.
- It is also permissible to drop the membership in case of the member being in breach of the other membership duties or its requisites.
- In all previous cases, it is necessary to issue a decision by the council announcing the dropping of the membership or to drop it, after calling the member to hear his utterance, in the appointed times, and according to the rules, and with the majority stipulated upon i n the previous article.
Taking into account the ratio stated for workers and peasants, and the seats allocated for women, if an office of the member of the council is vacant before the expiry of its duration, the reserve member – having the same quality in the list which was elected according to the order of names of reserve candidates therein – shall take his place, and the duration of the new member, shall be a completion to the duration of his predecessor membership.
Work Flow in Local Popular Councils
The following articles from law no. 43/1979 organizes the work flow in the LPCs as follows:
- A special residence place shall be prepared for the local popular council, and its committees; and to which shall be attached the number of employees necessary for good work progress in the council; and the chairman of the local popular council shall have the right of supervision on them; and with respect to them, he shall have the power stated for the head of the local unit.
- The chairman of the local popular council in the governorate – with respect to the personnel of the other local popular councils within the scope of the governorate – shall have the power stated for the minister.
- The credits necessary for meeting the expenses of the council shall be included in the budget of the local unit. These credits shall be put at the disposal of the chairman of the local popular council who shall have the same power stated for the head of the administrative unit; and the chairman of the local popular council of the governorates hall have in this regard, the financial power stated for the minister.
- The session of the local popular councils shall start and end at the dates defined by the executive regulations. The session for the local popular council shall be at least ten months; and the local popular council shall hold – at the residence assigned for it – an ordinary meeting once at least every month, at the invitation of its chairman in the time to be appointed by him.
- It is permissible to invite the local popular council to hold an extra ordinary meeting in case of need, or when studying an urgent subject, upon the request of the chairman of the council or the head of the local unit, or one third of the members of the council.
- With the exception of what is mentioned for it, a special stipulation, the meeting of the council shall not be correct unless attended by the majority of its members; and the decisions of the council shall be issued by the absolute majority of the attending members; and on the parity of votes, the side including the chairman shall be preponderated.
- In case, the legal number necessary for holding the local popular council of the governorate is incomplete, the meeting shall be postponed for a period of three days at least, and seven days at maximum.
- The chairman of the council shall remind the absent members to attend the meeting, and if the number of attendants in the new meeting is less than the legal number, the chairman of the local popular council or the governor shall advise the minister concerned with the local government through a report about that, to submit the matter to the Cabinet for taking its suitable measures regarding it.
- The local popular council of the governorate shall be advised with respect to the other local popular councils.
The meetings of the local popular council shall be open unless the chairman of the council, or the head of the local unit, or one third of the members request to make it secret. In this case the council in its secret meeting shall determine whether the discussion of the subject submitted shall continue to be in a secret or an open meeting.
- Being bound by the provisions of Article (23) of this law, the head of each local unit shall attend all the meetings of the local popular council of the unit; also they shall be attended by whom the head of the local unit, sees the necessity of their presence of the directors of departments or machinery whose competences are connected with the matters submitted to the council.
- It is permissible for the members of the People’s Assembly in the governorate, to attend the meetings of the local popular councils within its scope, and to participate in their discussions; and they shall have the right to submit proposals, questions and briefing requests, but they shall have no countable vote in taking decisions.
The governorates, and each of the heads of the local units, and each of the members of the local popular councils – shall have the right to submit their proposals to the concerned local popular council about the matters incorporated with the competence of the council , and according to the conditions and procedures which shall be defined by the internal regulations.
Each of the members of the local popular council is entitled to request from its chairman to enroll a certain subject in the council agenda before its convening with a week at least; and the chairman should refer what was submitted by the members of proposals and subjects to the concerned committee. In all cases, it is not permissible to discuss in the council the subjects which are not enrolled in the agenda of the meeting.
- It is permissible for a number not less than five members of the local popular council, to request presenting a general subject connected with the governorate or the like of local units within its scope for a public debate.
- The council has the right to discuss these subjects, and to exchange opinion regarding them according to the conditions, and procedures which shall be determined by the executive regulations.
- The members of the local popular council in the district, town, quarter, or village – are entitled to address questions, and briefing requests to the concerned chiefs of the local government units, directors of departments, and chairmen of the local executive machineries, and chairmen of public authorities working within the scope of the local unit.
- With respect to the questions and briefing requests, the provisions of the Articles (19) and (20) of this law shall be applicable, with observance of the level of the local unit.
The members of the local popular council in the district, town, quarter, or village – are entitled to submit interpellations to the chiefs of local units, chairmen of executive machinery, and public authorities working within the scope of the local unit, to call them to give account about the Internal affairs included within their competences, according to the rules and the following procedures:
- The interpellation should be submitted by one third of the council member , or by six of its members whichever is bigger.
- The interpellation shall be submitted to the permanent committee in the council within seven days of the date of its submission, provided two members of each of the local popular council of the supreme local unit, and its executive council, shall join this committee, to investigate the subject of interpellation, and to prepare a report in its concern, to be submitted to the concerned local popular council within fifteen days from the date of submitting the interpellation to it. The internal regulations of the council shall organize the method of work for this committee.
- It is not permissible to discuss the subject of interpellation in the concerned local popular council except after seven days at least of the date of submitting the report of the committee to the chairman of the council.
- A decision shall be issued by the concerned local popular council after discussing the interpellation of the responsibility of the one to whom it was addressed, by the approval of two thirds of the council members; and in this case, the chairman of the council shall inform the governor by a report about what the council concluded, and the reasons upon which its decision is based.
- The governor must refer the matter to the concerned investigation authorities within thirty days of the date of informing him with what the council decided.
- The local popular council shall form from among its members, at the beginning of each session, specialized committees for studying the subjects entering within its competence before submitting them to the council; and it is not permissible in other than the urgent cases to submit any subject to the local popular council before referring it to the concerned committee, and to submitting its report to the council in its regard. Each committee of the council’s committees shall elect its chairman in its first meeting.
- In the local popular council of the governorate, a committee of values shall be formed. It shall study the conduct of the members of the local popular councils, and propose the measure to be taken when the member violates the requisites of the proper conduct of the principles and general rules.
- Directors of departments, managers and heads of administrations, and executive machineries, or the like of the bodies concerned in the matters submitted to the committees of the local popular council – should attend their meetings with the observance of the level of council.
- It is permissible for the executive council, or any committee of the local popular council’s committees – to seek help from whom it sees to benefit from his experience among those possessing qualification, and to invite for attending its meetings those whose works are connected with the subjects submitted thereto.
- Those who attend the meetings of the committee other than their members shall participate in the discussion and study without having a countable vote in their negotiations.
- It is not permissible for the members of the local popular councils to participate in any executive works or to contribute in the membership of committees comprising an executive quality or competence, except their participation i n the services committees, in the industrial zones, and the committees which are formed for managing joint projects from the local units.
- The internal regulations of the local popular council shall define the sorts of its committees, number of members for each committee and the order of work progress therein.
- A permanent committee shall be formed in each of the local popular councils from the heads of its committees, and headed by the chairman of the council. This committee shall be concerned with the preparation of the council agenda ,studying and expressing opinion in what follows:
- The general policy of the council, and the project of the budget, plan, and final account.
- The questions, briefing requests, and interpellations submitted by the members.
- All matters concerning the membership.
- Other matters reverted to it by the local popular council.
- This committee shall take charge of managing the competences of the popular council, between holding its sessions with respect to the urgent necessary matters, provided the decisions of this committee shall be submitted to the local council in the first meeting following their issuance to decide what it sees in its regard.
- It is permissible by a decision from the governor. According to the proposal of the local popular council of the governorate and after obtaining the opinion of the Ministers of Planning, Finance, Industry and Labour Force – to determine the scope of the Industrial Zones in the Governorate, and to establish committees for services.
- A decision shall be issued from the governor for the formation of these committees, in such a manner that – those whom are selected by the local popular council in whose circle the industrial zone falls, from its members, chiefs of the concerned local units, heads of the industrial units in the zone, representatives of the workers and their guild in the governorate – shall participate in its membership.
The services committee in the industrial zone, under the supervision of the concerned local popular council, shall take charge of making available the required services in the labour zones, and supervision on the execution of the proposals of reformat ion and development in the region; also it shall take charge of specially the following:
- Carrying out the studies which are connected with the requirements of the region, of the civilizational, social, and cultural services comprising a local character, and the coordination between them according to their priorities for executing what shall be determined of them.
- Investigating the problems of the region, and study of executing the proposals which are submitted to resolve these problems.
- Defining the projects to be spent upon from the profits of the companies located within the scope of the region, and according to the provisions stated for this concern, from the allocated ratio of the 10% assigned from the proceeds of the central of the social services and the housing services.
- Proposal to determine the quality of public interest for the projects, and defining the properties whose expropriation is required, and taking possession thereon with respect to the projects included within the region.
- The services committees in the industrial zones , shall take charge of practicing their competences stipulated upon, in the previous Article within the limits of the funds allocated for that purpose from the following finances:
- What shall be allocated of the personnel share in the profits of the industrial units in the region.
- Contributions , donations and wills assigned for aims of the committee.
- The other finances which shall be defined by a decision of the local popular council of the governorate, or boards of directors of the industrial units in the region.
- These finances shall be deposited in a special account for payment therefrom – by a decision of the services committee in the industrial zone – on the aims assigned thereto under the supervision of the concerned local popular council.
- The governor of the region – by his own accord, or according to the proposal of the concerned local popular councils, and after taking the opinion of the local popular council of the district and the approval of the local popular council of the governorate or the concerned governorates - is entitled to decide forming a joint committee for managing the projects comprising public interest, in which adjacent governorates or towns or villages shall contribute.
- The governor of the region shall define the number of members to be elected by each local popular council in this committee.
- A sufficient number of the experts and personnel who have a connection with the project, must join the membership of this committee. The governor of the region shall select the head of this committee.
- With the observance of the provisions of this law, and its executive regulations, it is permissible for the local popular council to lay down an internal regulation for organizing the work therein, and the manner of practicing its function.
- The local popular council of the governorate , shall depend upon the internal regulations of the other local popular councils, within the scope of the governorate .
- The provisions of the model internal regulations for the local popular councils which are laid down, by the Supreme Council of the Local Government – shall be applicable on the local popular councils for which no internal regulations was laid down for it. Also such regulations shall be valid for the matters concerning which no special stipulation is mentioned in the internal regulations of the local popular councils.
Dissolution of Local Popular Councils
The following article states the situations where the local councils can be resolved:
- It is not permissible to dissolve the local popular council by a comprehensive procedure.
- It is not permissible to dissolve the local popular council twice for the same reason.
- It is not permissible to dissolve the local popular council except by reason of significant breach of its obligations , or the great violation of law.
- For dissolving the local popular council of the governorate or the like of the local government units, a justified decree shall be issued by the Cabinet according to what shall be presented by the minister concerned with the local government.
- The decree issued for dissolving the popular council shall be published in the Official Journal, and notified to the People’s Assembly within a fortnight of the date of its issuance.
- In the decree issued for dissolving the local popular council, a temporary council shall be formed according to the proposal of the concerned governor. Its formation must comprise a sufficient number of the leaders of the local organizations ; and the temporary council shall take charge of performing the competences of the dissolved council with respect to the necessary and urgent matters till the formation of the new local popular council is completed; and the election must be made to form this new council within sixty days following the issuance of the dissolution decree.
- The resolutions which shall be taken by the temporary council shall be submitted to the new council in the first meeting held by the council after its formation, to take what it views in t heir respect , according to the rules which shall be defined by the executive regulations.
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The Third Article of the Law No. 50 for 1981 stipulates on:
The local popular council s shall be formed according to the provisions of this law, after the expiry of the legal period for the existing local popular council.