Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, chairman of the Egyptian parliament's human rights committee, resigned on Tuesday shortly after parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al disclosed that a closed-door meeting would be held to discuss a complaint filed by an MP against parliament with "an international organisation."
"This complaint was filed by a high-profile MP and it was written in English," said Abdel-Al, adding that "this is a dangerous development and that I will not let it pass easily."
Abdel-Al declined to disclose the identity of the MP in question, though he said that "this is not the first time for this MP to file complaints against Egypt’s parliament; he has done this several times before to tarnish the image of his country."
Abdel-Al insisted that "the name of the MP who filed the complaint against parliament will be revealed in a closed-door plenary session."
Speculation is rife that it was El-Sadat who filed the complaint cited by Abdel-Aal.
El-Sadat has extensive connections with international organisations like Human Rights Watch and with foreign diplomats in Cairo, especially those affiliated with the US and British embassies.
In a statement to reporters, El-Sadat said he is resigning "because of lack of cooperation from parliament's speaker, secretariat-general, and the government in responding to requests and memorandums submitted by the [human rights] committee aimed at addressing complaints raised by citizens about injustices done to them."
El-Sadat's statement added that his resignation is also due to parliament's refusal to communicate with the outside world in terms of implementing Egypt's international commitments and defending its image abroad."
El-Sadat complained last month that Abdel-Al's loyalty to the government and the regime of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi came at the expense of parliament exercising its supervisory powers, especially in the area of human rights.
He triggered the anger of Abdel-Al when he decided to attend an international conference on human rights in Geneva early this month without getting his approval.