Parliament Speaker Hanafi Gibali revealed on Sunday that he had received a message from the Chairman of Al-Wafd party, Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoqa, informing him that Al-Wafd MP Mohamed Abdel-Alim was expelled from the party’s ranks and that he no longer would be the party’s parliamentary spokesman.
“The Chairman of Al-Wafd party’s message also informed me that Soliman Wahdan was selected as Al-Wafd’s parliamentary spokesman instead of Abdel-Alim,” said Gibali.
Gibali indicated that Abu Shoqa’s request was referred to parliament’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee to be studied by MPs.
Gibali, however, clarified that Egypt’s 2014 constitution and the House’s law stipulate that for an MP to retain their parliamentary membership, they must keep the political affiliation — independent or party member — under which they were elected, and they shall lose their membership upon approval from two thirds of the MPs if they change this affiliation.”
Mohamed Abdel-Alim and seven other high-ranking members were expelled from Al-Wafd party on 9 February. The party’s Chairman, Abu Shoqa, accused in a press conference the expelled members of participating in what he called “a grand conspiracy” against Al-Wafd party in a bid to take control of the party’s ranks and organisations.
The eight-member list also includes Yasser El-Hudaybi, the party’s vice-chairman and a member of the senate.
Gibali decided on 19 January that Abdel-Alim be referred to the Ethics Committee to be questioned over “bad behaviour and misconduct”.
Gibali accused Abdel-Alim of badmouthing Mostaqbal Watan — the party with a majority in parliament — and trying to use his parliamentary membership to defame its image.
“I will not allow any MPs to use their membership to defame the image of their colleagues,” said Gibali.
Abdel-Alim told reporters last week that the recent move against him is part of a campaign aimed at containing any real opposition voices in parliament. Abdel-Alim had also previously said that the constitution states that no MP shall be asked about their opinions inside parliament or its committees, denying directing any accusation against any particular party in the House.
“All I did is that I asked for an investigation in election bribes,” said Abdel-Alim.
The expulsion and the change of Abdel-Alim’s political affiliation could finally lead to stripping him of parliamentary membership.