Middle East

Egypt holds first parliament in more than three years

Egypt's parliament meets for the first time in three years Image copyright EPA
Image caption The first session was supposed to be procedural but there were heated moments

Egypt's parliament has opened for the first time in more than three years, packed with supporters of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The previous Islamist-dominated legislature was dissolved by a court ruling in 2012.

The following year, the then-General Sisi ousted President Mohammed Morsi following massive protests against him and his Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Egypt's new parliament has just 15 days to ratify over 300 new laws issued.

Newly elected MPs were sworn in on the first day. They were then due to elect a speaker and two deputies.

Parliament comprises 568 elected members and 28 appointed by President Sisi, and is dominated by an alliance loyal to him.

Sunday's session was supposed to be mostly procedural but it was disrupted by one outspoken member.

Murtada Mansour, a President Sisi supporter, at first refused to read the official text of the MPs' oath, before relenting and "hurriedly and casually" reciting it, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Mansour objected to the text's pledge to honour the constitution, which praises the 2011 revolution. The MP is one of a number of pro-government figures who now regard the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak five years ago as a mistake, driven by foreign powers seeking to weaken Egypt, AP said.