Over the past days, calls for Egyptians on social media have escalated in protest against the latest amendment to the Reconciliation Law in building violations, and they have sparked a debate about who should bear the value of the violations: the owner of the property or the resident.
While the country was experiencing difficult living and economic conditions, Egyptians demanded that their government renounce or amend the law, and said they were unable to pay the fines and sums required, while others argued that it was unconstitutional.
Reconciliation law in building violations
Age took Law No. 17 of 2019 Concerning Conciliation in Some Construction Violations and Legalizing their StatusAbout 4 years ago, its first version was released on April 8.
The law was amended more than once, most recently on July 7, 2020, when the Governor of Cairo issued a decision to amend the value of the flat meter price in exchange for reconciliation and legalization of conditions.
For his part, the Egyptian Cabinet issued a statement in which it said: “The Cabinet agreed to activate the provisions of Law No. 17 of 2019 regarding reconciliation in some building violations, and to legalize their conditions in a way that supports the fulfillment of state rights, through several controls including the establishment of those who wish to reconcile, during The period specified in the law, by submitting the reconciliation application, with all the required documents, documents and fees attached, as well as a serious reconciliation amount to be paid with submitting the application under the reconciliation account.
The statement added: “And the reference to the fact that for those who previously submitted a request for reconciliation and legalization of conditions, and this request has not been decided until now, he must pay the amount of seriousness of the specified reconciliation within thirty days, starting from July 15, 2020.”
The Council clarified that: “It was agreed to pay the violator 25% of the value of the reconciliation over the area for which reconciliation is submitted, with a maximum of the amounts specified in relation to each violation, according to the following: Paying a serious amount reconciled for violations of construction architectural drawings of 20 thousand pounds for cities, and 5 thousand Pounds for villages, 40 thousand pounds for cities, and 10 thousand pounds for villages for violations of responses, also includes the amount of seriousness reconciling violations of the increase in the surface of surface rooms, with a value of 50 thousand pounds, the seriousness of reconciliation for cities, and 12 thousand pounds for villages, in addition to determining the value of the amount of seriousness for building violations The role of the roof is worth 80 thousand pounds for cities, and 20 thousand pounds for villages. The council also agreed to determine the seriousness of reconciliation for building violations without a license worth 250 thousand pounds for the capitals of governorates and new cities, 160 thousand pounds for cities and 40 thousand pounds for villages, in addition to determining the amount of seriousness of reconciliation for violations Converting the basement into an unauthorized activity at a value of 120 thousand pounds for cities, and 30 thousand pounds for villages.
The table on the reconciliation law has not hidden since its launch and it has increased recently immediately after the announcement of the latest amendment. The pioneers of social networking sites in Egypt launched the name #No_Conciliation_Manash_Floss, which was among the list of the most widely used tags in Egypt, harvesting more than 17 thousand tweets,
Through it, users denounced this law, considering that real estate residents are unable to pay and that real estate owners are to bear the cost of reconciliation.
Others talked about the huge amount of taxes that “exhausted the Egyptian citizen”, the last of which was the approval of a parliamentary committee to increase the tax imposed on car radio to 100 pounds.
While others saw that the solution to the problem of slums lies in “cosmetic, not demolishing.”
Claims for holding officials accountable
On the other hand, many people demanded that “those officials who were negligent and slack in issuing licenses” be held accountable.
Khaled said: “If you want accountability, hold the inactive minister and prime minister first when the Minister of Housing was at the time of these waste. Hold the development minister accountable to the heads of localities, engineers, and everyone who hindered the citizen from obtaining a building permit. Hold the officials accountable before holding the citizens accountable.”
Legal and constitutional dilemmas
Egyptians also demanded that this law be addressed by legal and constitutional means.
They focused on the issue of applying laws retroactively, and on the possibilities of conflict between articles in this law and the principles of the Egyptian constitution.
Refaat said: “The Reconciliation Law is contrary to Article 95 of the Egyptian Constitution, which states that (the punishment is personal, there is no crime and no punishment except according to a law, and no punishment is imposed except by a judicial ruling, and there is no punishment except for actions subsequent to the effective date of the law).”
Some of them shared videos of legal experts and their opinions on the law.
Statement of the Ministry of Local Development
For its part, the Ministry of Local Development confirmed, on Monday, the incorrectness of what was published in some media outlets, regarding the lack of criminal responsibility of owners of violating real estate and holding them accountable for their violations before the law.
The ministry said, in a press statement, on Monday, that “the owners of the violating real estate are criminally responsible for the violations, given that the written record of the violation is registered with the data of the owner of the violating property or whoever represents him legally, noting that according to the law of conciliation in some building violations and its executive regulations allow the concerned person any of (The owner of the apartment – a union of occupants ..) was to submit a reconciliation application to the violating housing units, or a housing unit from the violating property, and also according to the building code this does not exempt the original owner of the property from criminal accountability and accountability and complete the legal procedures in accordance with the record of the violation issued against him.