Telegram sent by new parliament to military council causes upset

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Jan 2012

Egyptian Parliament sends a telegram thanking Field Marshall Tantawi and the military council for protecting the revolution, described by activists as ‘politically hypocritical’

Arguments broke out in the first session of the People’s Assembly with regard to the contents of a telegram sent to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) by the Egyptian parliament.

Tantawi had already sent a telegram to the People’s Assembly congratulating them on holding their first session.

The reply telegram expressed gratitude to the SCAF for their contributions to the revolution and for preserving the democratic path that led to a fairly elected parliament. The telegram did not mention the revolution’s martyrs or violations committed by the military forces against protesters over the past year.

Tens were killed and thousands injured during clashes in November, and around 15 were killed and hundreds injured in a military crackdown on a sit-in outside the cabinet buildings in December. Twelve thousand civilians have also reportedly faced military trials since the fall of Mubarak.

Activists on social networks described the telegram to the military council as “politically hypocrital,” and criticised it for glorifying the army and military council.

Member of Parliament Mostafa El-Naggar of the Adl Party rejected the content of the telegram arguing that it was not balanced. ”If we were to thank the SCAF we also need to point out on their flaws,” he said. El-Naggar asked for modifications and argued that the telegram not be sent unless the majority agreed on the first draft. Parliamentary speaker Saad El-Katatni replied saying, “the parliament has already agreed to send it.”

Two days ahead of the January 25 revolution’s first anniversary, the parliament held its first session.

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