Egyptian MP Tantawi referred to parliament's ethics committee for 'violating code of conduct'

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 19 Jun 2017

Ahmed Tantawi, from the 25-30 bloc, allegedly hurled insults at a visiting expert during a debate on Tiran and Sanafir islands, throwing the microphone to the floor

MP Ahmed Tantawi
MP Ahmed Tantawi (Photo: Al-Ahram)

MP Ahmed Tantawi, who is affiliated with the opposition parliamentary coalition known as the 25-30 group, is to be referred to the ethics committee for alleged violations of parliament's code of conduct.

On Monday, parliament's press office said in a statement that Tantawi was accused of committing the violations last week while the constitutional and legislative affairs committee was debating an Egyptian-Saudi deal on maritime border demarcation.

The committee submitted a memorandum alleging that, on 13 June, Tantawi had interrupted Sayed El-Husseini, head of the Egyptian Geographical Society, as he was addressing the committee on the subject of the border agreement.

"Tantawi physically attacked El-Husseini, threw the microphone to the floor, before hurling insults at him," said the committee, arguing that "this is bad behavior and a violation of parliament's code of conduct."

The ethics committee will examine two memorandums prepared by parliament's legislative and constitutional affairs committee and El-Sayed El-Husseini, head of the Egyptian Geographical Society.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said during the debate on 13 June that Tantawi's behaviour was unacceptable and he might be stripped of his parliamentary membership.

In his memorandum, El-Husseini said that, as he was addressing the committee on the Egyptian-Saudi deal, he was surprised to find Tantawi trying to hit him.

"He also prevented me from using the microphone, throwing it to the floor and directing insults at me," said El-Husseini.

The statement said parliament has asked Tantawi to come to the speaker's office twice to testify on the above charges.

"But he refused to come to defend himself, and as a result we (parliament's internal bureau) decided that Tantawi should be referred to the ethics committee," said the office in a statement.

On 14 June, parliament approved the controversial deal on maritime border demarcation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The deal, which identifies the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir as falling inside Saudi territorial waters, triggered protests in Egypt last week.

The 25-30 group accused parliament of rubberstamping the deal without adequate discussion and in spite of a judicial ruling by the administrative courts that declared the agreement null and void.

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