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High-profile Egyptian MP Sirri Siam submits resignation from parliament

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 8 Feb 2016
Egyptian parliament (Reuters)
Egyptian parliament (Reuters)
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Sirri Siam, an appointed MP and a high-profile judicial figure, told parliamentary reporters Monday that he decided to resign from parliament.

"I submitted my resignation request to parliament's secretariat-general today and it is a final step," said Siam, though he did not explain the reason for his resignation.

"Although the resignation request should be submitted to the parliament speaker in person, I chose to give it to secretary-general Ahmed Saaeddin," he said.

Sources told reporters that Siam not submitting his resignation to parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al was a clear indication as to why he decided to resign.

"He might think that he is being sidelined or marginalised by speaker Abdel-Al," an informed source told Al-Ahram Online.

Siam was one of 28 public figures appointed to Egypt's newly-elected parliament by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi last month.

He is the former chairman of the Court of Cassation and the Higher Council for Judges.

In parliament's first procedural sitting on 10 January, Siam and Abdel-Al clashed verbally on how MPs should nominate themselves for the post of deputy speaker.

While Siam argued that each nominee should be given the floor for five minutes to introduce himself, Abdel-Al said this would take too much time.

Siam was also originally selected to be the chairman of a committee entrusted with amending parliament's internal by-laws to go in line with the new constitution.

But appointed MP Bahaaeddin Abu Shoqa, secretary-general of the Wafd Party, was chosen to head the committee in his capacity as the most senior parliamentarian.

Siam refused to take part in any of the meetings held by the committee, and did not take part in any of the recent meetings with foreign officials who visited Egypt's parliament, such as the president of China and the speaker of the Russian parliament.

Deputy speaker El-Sayed El-Sherif told reporters that he is not aware as to why Siam decided to resign, though he said that the notion that Siam was being sidelined by Abdel-Al was “by no means correct.”

Informed sources told Al-Ahram Online that Siam's resignation should be put to a parliamentary debate in a plenary session and should be approved by two thirds of MPs.

"So I think that many will try their best to convince Siam not to insist on this resignation and that parliament is in pressing need for him, especially after the new make-up of the House's committees is complete," said the source. 

Just a few days after parliament's opening meeting last month, Kamal Ahmed, a leftist MP from Alexandria, announced he would resign from parliament. He did, however, backtrack some hours later after facing pressure from MPs, which could be a possible outcome for Siam.

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