A top British politician has slammed Britain’s parliamentary system in a comparison to that of Egypt, saying that the Middle Eastern country is ahead of the game in legislative democracy with an elected, not appointed, second chamber.
In response to rising critique on the importance of reforming the House of Lords, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown said the government should follow in Egypt’s footsteps.
“We are almost the only country in the world which has an appointed second chamber rather than an elected one – by the way the company we keep includes Belarus, Bahrain, Yemen.
“Even Egypt under its new Muslim Brotherhood constitution is going to have an elected second chamber. It’s time we had a proper elected second chamber,” Ashdown told Sky News this week.
Egypt’s second chamber of parliament has two fundamental functions: to provide limits to the power of the first chamber and to compensate for the shortcomings in presentation in it, especially of monitories and marginalized groups, Gianluca Parolin, a professor of comparative law told an academic panel in Egypt last month which discussed the country’s post-revolutionary parliament.
A two-chamber system is used in some 200 countries, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Jordan and Afghanistan.
This year’s second chamber, or Shura Council, elections resulted in Ahmed Fahmy of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to be chosen as Speaker of the chamber.
Despite Fahmy being chosen as the Shura Council speaker in an uncontested vote, Lord Ashdown applauded the fact that the chamber was elected by Egyptians.