Historic Victory for the Egyptian Center: Final Ruling Calls for Tour Guides’ Elections After Five Years of “Interim Management”


On Monday, June 3, 2024, the First Circuit of the Supreme Administrative Court’s Appeals Examination Chamber dismissed Appeal No. 31109 of Judicial Year 70, filed by Samir Mohamed Abdelwahab in his capacity as Chairman of the Interim Committee for the Tour Guides Syndicate. The appeal was against the ruling in Case No. 58505 of Judicial Year 76, which annulled the negative decision of refraining from calling for a General Assembly meeting to include elections for the syndicate on its agenda. The court upheld the previous ruling.

Dozens of tour guides attended the session to affirm to the court the syndicate members’ desire to hold elections and form an elected council.

The center’s lawyer stated that the ruling, potentially benefiting up to 16,000 tour guides nationwide, affirms the right of tour guides to call for elections to form a council from the General Assembly members. This effectively removes the government-appointed committee from the Ministry of Tourism overseeing the syndicate’s operations, transitioning the syndicate from full ministry oversight to being managed by a council that meets its members’ aspirations.

Furthermore, the center’s lawyer added that the court’s decision today renders the ruling final and binding on the Interim Committee to call for a General Assembly meeting, including on its agenda the election of the syndicate head and council members. Should there be a failure to implement this ruling, the center will resort to legal and criminal proceedings in this regard.

The Egyptian Center values the court ruling as a historic victory in solidifying the democracy and independence of syndical organizations, through genuine representatives from the General Assembly of tour guides rather than through government-appointed interim committees.

The Second Circuit, Individuals Department, of the Administrative Court had previously ruled on Sunday, February 25, 2024, to annul the negative decision of refraining from calling for elections for the General Syndicate of Tour Guides in Case No. 58505 of Judicial Year 76, filed by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights’ lawyer on behalf of several tour guides.

It is worth mentioning that on July 15, 2015, the General Council of the Tourist Guides Syndicate was elected for the 2015/2018 term, which ended on July 14, 2018. An extraordinary general assembly was called to elect a new council for the 2018/2021 term, and it was scheduled to be held on August 24, 2018. However, the legal quorum for the meeting was not met. The second session was held after 7 days, However, Its legal quorum, which is required to be attended by a quarter of the members, was also not completed, As a result, the council, whose term had expired, continued to carry out its activities.

Following that, Minister of Tourism issued decision No.95 on 17/2/2019, to form a temporary committee to manage the affairs of the Tourist Guides Syndicate. Article No.2 of the decision stipulated that the committee shall call for a general assembly of the syndicate to convene for the election of the president and council members, as well as manage the affairs of the syndicate for a period of 6 months or until the election of the new council, whichever is earlier. Subsequently, several decisions were issued by the Minister of Tourism to extend the committee’s work for consecutive 6-month periods

The committee, which was established by an administrative decision to manage the affairs of the syndicate and inaccurately described as “temporary,” continued its work for a period exceeding the legal term of the elected councils. which resulted in undermining the authority of the syndicate’s general assembly and conflicting with the constitutional principles of union independence.

Tourist guides have repeatedly demanded the temporary committee to call for elections for the syndicate, However, it has consistently refused to do so for illogical or unrealistic reasons. Therefore, 537 tourist guides submitted a signed request to the committee, requesting it to call for a general assembly of the syndicate that includes, in its agenda, the electoral process for the president’s seat and the council seats. Based on this request, the lawsuit was filed, which ended with the court ruling to cancel the committee’s decision and obligate it to call for the elections.

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