Egypt parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al is expected to issue a decision on an election appeal against Ahmed Mortada Mansour, an MP affiliated with the liberal Free Egyptians Party, after his father, also an MP, disrupted a session that was due to decide his son's fate.
The appeal, filed by Mansour's rival in the parliamentary elections in Giza's district of Dokki, Amr Elchoubaki, was accepted by the Court of Cassation that is solely authorised by the constitution to give a final say on appeals related to results of parliamentary elections.
The court said Elchoubaki got more votes than Mansour and as a result, and in line with Article 107 of the Egyptian Constitution, he should be declared the winner of the Dokki seat.
In its meeting Tuesday night to discuss the ruling and vote on it to be debated in a plenary session, the legislative and constitutional affairs committee failed to reach a decision. Its chairman, lawyer Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka, said he decided not to look into the issue after two of the committee's leading members – lawyers Mortada Mansour and Alaa Abdel-Moneim mounted verbal clashes against each other and even exchanged insults.
"I will remain chairman of the committee, but I will not look into this issue because of verbal clashes that swamped the meeting (on Tuesday night)," said Abu Shoka, adding that, "I took this decision in order to save the meeting from further escalation."
The committee's deputy chairman Ahmed Helmi Al-Sherif told reporters Wednesday that it will be up to the parliament speaker to decide who will be responsible for heading the committee's meeting on Elchoubaki's appeal. He also disclosed that the committee's members submitted a memo to speaker Abdel-Al, complaining of lawyer Mortada Mansour's unruly behaviour that led to the disruption of the committee meeting.
Before it began its meeting Tuesday night, committee members were surprised that their colleague Mortada Mansour, a flamboyant lawyer and chairman of Zamalek Sporting Club, tried to disrupt the debate.
Mansour attacked MP Alaa Abdel-Moneim, a lawyer and a leading official of the "Support Egypt" parliamentary bloc, when he urged committee members to vote in favour of the Cassation Court's ruling that Elchoubaki should be declared the winner of the Dokki seat.
"The ruling of the court is very clear, final and binding to parliament and all members should vote in favour of invalidating the membership of Ahmed Mortada Mansour and decide that Elchoubaki is the elected MP of Dokki," said Abdel-Moneim.
MPs Abdel-Moneim and Ahmed Al-Sharkawi asked Mansour to leave the meeting room on the grounds that he is not one of its 32 members. "You do not have the right to be here and you have to go out," said Al-Sharkawi.
Mansour responded by accusing members of the committee of taking money from Elchoubaki to vote in favour of the court ruling. Mansour claimed that some of the documents submitted to the Court of Cassation were doctored by Elchoubaki. Mansour added that there are two court rulings on the result of the Dokki district vote.
"The first came in favour of my son Ahmed, and the second – which came in favour of Elchoubaki – was based on rigged documents," said Mansour.
Mansour and Al-Sharkawi were about to exchange fists after Mansour told Al-Sharkawi "to keep silent." "You are a low-profile lawyer and I will not respond to you because it will be a big honour which you do not deserve," said Mansour.
In reaction to these verbal clashes, the committee's head, Abu Shoka, said he was no longer able to look into the issue and that he would rather leave it up to the speaker to decide.
Members of the committee told reporters that Abu Shoka left the meeting without allowing a final vote on the appeal because he was intimidated by Mansour. "It is sorrowful that Abu Shoqa was intimidated by Mansour," said Al-Sharqawi.
Abdel-Moneim told reporters that the committee's members expect that speaker Abdel-Aal will choose one of the committee's two deputies – Nabil Al-Gammal or Ahmed Al-Sherif – to head the committee meeting on Elchoubaki's appeal, or that the speaker himself will do it.
Ahmed Mansour was announced in January as the elected deputy for Dokki district.