From Gulf News
Egypt’s presidency said Tuesday it will submit a proposed law regulating civil society groups to the senate, insisting it reflects the values of the country’s democratic uprising despite accusations it is restrictive. The bill regulating foreign and local non-governmental groups would be submitted on Wednesday to the senate, which also acts as an interim parliament, Walid Zoghby, who helped to draw up the draft legislation, told AFP.
Presidential adviser Pakinam Sharkawi said the draft law “reflects a balance between… the objective of defending national security and that of defending the freedoms of civil society groups.” The move comes after fierce criticism of other proposed laws regulating non-governmental organisations, including one that gave security agency representatives oversight of NGOs. “I confirm this draft law completely removes the security role,” Zoghby told a news conference. S
harkawi, speaking at the same event, insisted criticism of the draft law, which the presidency has not yet made public, was inaccurate and reflected past versions. But the most recent draft the presidency has shown to civil society groups, dated May 18 and obtained by AFP, does not preclude security services’ representation on a powerful steering committee that oversees NGO foreign funding.
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