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Egypt opens first parliament in three years

Egypt’s new parliament has held its opening session, its first in three years. The last Islamist-dominated legislature was dissolved by court order following protests against freely elected then-President Mohammed Morsi.

The 596-seat chamber was packed Sunday with supporters of current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, state television reported.

The parliament, elected in November and December,

is the first to take office since el-Sissi, as head of the military, ousted President Morsi in 2013 following massive protests against the Islamist leader and his Muslim Brotherhood party.

The body is expected to choose a speaker Sunday and now has 15 days to approve hundreds of laws issued by presidential decree during its period of suspension.

Lawmakers will also take an oath of loyalty to the constitution.

Egypt's new parliament will be dominated by an

allegiance loyal to President el-Sissi.

The 2016 assembly was voted in in elections critics said were undermined by a security crackdown on Islamist and other opposition groups.

The country's last parliament was elected in 2011-12 in Egypt's first free vote following an uprising that ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign.

One year later, Mubarak's successor, Morsi, was himself overthrown by the army.

Watch video 01:50

Low voter turnout of disillusioned Egyptian electorate

jlw/ng (AP, Reuters)

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