File photo: Egypt's House of Representatives.
The house's Secretary-General Ahmed Manaa announced on Friday evening that "MPs are required to attend an extraordinary session on Saturday 13 August at 12:00pm to look into an "urgent matter."
While the invitation for Saturday's extraordinary meeting did not disclose the “urgent matter” to be discussed, it stressed that "all members should be keen to attend the session."
Circulated news reports indicate that the house's extraordinary meeting will discuss a presidential decision to introduce a cabinet reshuffle.
Informed sources told Extra News satellite channel on Friday night that the house's extraordinary meeting is related to a cabinet reshuffle for some ministerial portfolios.
Al-Shorouk daily quoted informed government sources who said that Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, who has been serving since June 2018, would retain his position, while some ten cabinet ministers would be reshuffled. Other press reports asserted that a minister of information would also be named.
Egypt's House of Representatives adjourned the sessions of its second legislative season on 5 July and is currently on a three-month summer recess. The 2021-2026 house is scheduled to hold its third legislative season in the first week of October.
Conditions for extraordinary meetings
Parliament's internal bylaws regulate four conditions in which the house can hold extraordinary meetings, the first of which comes through Article 128 that deals with what the house should do if the president decides to fire the government as a whole.
“In such a case the president should send a written message to the house speaker notifying him of his decision, and that if the message comes while the house is in summer recess the house should hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss and vote on the president's decision,” Article 128 states.
Article 129 states that the president must do the same if he decides to reshuffle the cabinet, which requires the approval of two-thirds majority of MPs in order to pass in the house.
Article 130 also states that “if the president decides to declare war or state of emergency or send troops to perform fighting missions outside the country's borders in line with Article 152 of the constitution,” the president must contact the house in the same manner.
The house must then hold an urgent closed-door meeting to discuss and vote his decision, which also requires a two-thirds majority for approval.
The last case is when the president decides to name any of the chairpersons of independent organisations (such as media organisations) and watchdog institutions (such as the Central Auditing Agency), and requires the same procedures as the previous cases according to Article 342.
The last time the Egyptian House of Representatives held an extraordinary meeting was in July 2020 when President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi asked MPs to approve sending the Egyptian Armed Forces on combat missions outside the borders of the country to defend the Egyptian national security on the western strategic front against acts of criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements.
The mandate came a few days after El-Sisi met with Libyan tribal leaders in Cairo, where they called on the Egyptian Armed Forces "to intervene to protect the national security of Libya and Egypt."