Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1274, (10 - 16 December 2015)
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1274, (10 - 16 December 2015)

Ahram Weekly

MPs complain of ‘interference’

Ahmed Saad’s appointment as secretary-general of Egypt’s new parliament has been endorsed by the cabinet, despite opposition from MPs, reports Gamal Essam El-Din

MPs complain of ‘interference’
MPs complain of ‘interference’
Al-Ahram Weekly

On Sunday, the cabinet endorsed the appointment of Ahmed Saad as secretary-general of Egypt’s House of Representatives. A day earlier, the State Council approved Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Magdi Al-Agati’s request that Saad replace Khaled Al-Sadr in the post.

Al-Sadr, a former intelligence officer, was appointed by Ibrahim Al-Heneidy, Al-Agati’s predecessor as minister for parliamentary affairs, in October. He resigned on 3 December.

The cabinet’s approval of Al-Sadr’s replacement brought objections from several newly elected MPs who claimed the move constituted interference in parliament’s internal affairs.

Led by journalist Mostafa Bakri and TV anchor Tawfik Okasha, the MPs argued that, as a representative of the executive authority, Al-Agati had no right to demand Al-Sadr’s resignation and that it was up to the newly elected house to deal with the affair.

“If it is true that Al-Agati forced Al-Sadr to resign it would represent a flagrant intervention by the executive in the internal affairs of the legislative authority,” said Okasha.

Okasha also revealed that as the candidate who received the highest number of votes, he will stand for the office of speaker of the House of Representatives. “For an appointed MP to be elected speaker would represent yet another unwarranted intervention in the affairs of the legislature,” said Okasha.

Al-Agati argued that as long as the House of Representatives is not sitting he is legally entitled to form its secretariat-general. He also pointed out that as a graduate of the Faculty of Military Sciences, Al-Sadr lacks the necessary legal background to successfully fill the post of secretary-general.

The ideal candidate, said Al-Agati, should be a graduate of the Faculty of Law and have at least ten years’ experience as a judge on the State Council.

Saad is a graduate of both the Faculty of Law and the Police Academy. He served as a police officer and then joined the State Council after obtaining a master’s degree in law. In 2014 Saad was a consultant for former minister of parliamentary affairs Ibrahim Al-Heneidy and a member of the government committee entrusted with amending the election laws.

Sources claim that Al-Agati demanded Al-Sadr’s resignation because Al-Sadr insisted on taking decisions without first consulting him. “Al-Agati first accused Al-Sadr of acting independently when he allowed some high-profile newly elected MPs — including Sameh Seif Al-Yazal, coordinator of the pro-government coalition For the Love of Egypt, and former Minister of Information Osama Heikal — to be issued with parliamentary membership cards before other winning candidates,” said one source.

He continued, “Al-Sadr also took it upon himself to dismiss a number of parliamentary employees, claiming they were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Islamic State.”

Following their dismissal, the sacked employees wrote to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and complained that, far from being Brotherhood supporters, they were removed from their jobs because they had highlighted instances of corruption.

This caused embarrassment for Al-Agati, who then demanded that Al-Sadr to resign, said sources.

Al-Agati, a former State Council judge who was appointed minister of parliamentary affairs in September, denies that he demanded Al-Sadr resign.

“The fact is that some employees have filed a lawsuit against Al-Sadr on the grounds that, not being a graduate of the Faculty of Law, he is unqualified for the job,” Al-Agati told parliamentary reporters. Al-Agati also stressed he had known Al-Sadr for 20 years.

In his resignation letter, Al-Sadr said that now the transitional stage of the roadmap had drawn to a close he felt it was time to resign.

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