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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

High-profile Egyptian MP Sirri Siam may retract resignation

The former judge said he might reconsider his decision to resign from parliament as MPs work hard to keep him on board

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 13 Feb 2016
Sirri Siam
Sirri Siam (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Sirri Siam, an MP appointed to parliament by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi who submitted his resignation request last week, told reporters Saturday that he might change his mind "if God wills."

Siam, a former high-profile judge who was one of 28 public figures appointed by El-Sisi to parliament last month, seemed to be in a good mood after he attended El-Sisi's inaugural speech before the newly elected parliament on Saturday afternoon.

In his resignation request on 8 February, Siam complained that he was being sidelined and marginalised by the parliament's leadership, and as a result he had chosen to submit his resignation.

A lot of MPs said they were happy to see Siam coming to join them in listening to the speech on Saturday.

After El-Sisi finished speaking, a large number of MPs encircled Siam and accompanied him to the nearby lobby, where many tried to dissuade him from resigning. 

Appointed MPs in particular were anxious to sit down with Siam and talk about the resignation request with him. Novelist Youssef El-Qaeed told reporters that he and other appointees exerted strong pressure on Siam to reconsider his resignation.

"We told him parliament is still one-month old and it is too early to pass a judgement about its performance," El-Qaeed said.

Minister of Justice Ahmed El-Zind also met with Siam outside the parliamentary hall. El-Zind was keen to hug Siam and even kiss his head, imploring him to withdraw his resignation request.

The two deputy speakers, Soliman Wahdan and El-Sayed El-Sherif, also joined forces, announcing they had met Siam after the speech to tell him that there is widespread opposition to his resignation.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Magdi El-Agati also told reporters that "Siam's resignation is just a summer cloud, and it will leave soon; I am sure that he will abandon this resignation in the end."

Siam told reporters Saturday that he was keen to attend El-Sisi's keynote speech. "President El-Sisi chose me to be one of the appointed MPs and so I was keen to come in person to parliament to listen to his speech, not to exercise any parliamentary legislative or supervisory roles," said Siam.

He also said he thanked El-Agati for his kind words.

Although Siam insisted last week that his resignation was "a final decision," he told reporters Saturday that "I hope everything will go okay in the next few days and that I can change my mind and take the right decision."

The head of the parliamentary secretariat, Ahmed Saad El-Din, told reporters that parliament will discuss Siam's resignation request when it holds a plenary session next Sunday.

"We all hope that Judge Sirri will change his mind," said secretary-general Saad El-Din.

Informed sources told Ahram Online on Wednesday that parliament's internal bureau, led by the speaker and his two deputies, refrained from taking a decision on Siam's resignation.

"The whole matter will be left for MPs to decide next Saturday," sources said.

Novelist El-Qaeed sounded optimistic.

"Siam was in a good mood after El-Sisi's speech today and after many MPs told him that they will vote down his resignation request on Sunday," he told Ahram Online.
 

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