Several MPs have teamed up on Monday to ask former parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal to resign, saying “as long as Abdel-Aal has no interest in attending the House’s current plenary meetings he should resign and stop obtaining any money as MP.”
Ali Abdel-Aal, who was speaker of Egypt’s 2015-2020 parliament, was elected MP in the parliamentary elections held between October and December 2021.
Abdel-Aal, however, was not re-elected as speaker of parliament when the House held its opening procedural meeting on 12 January. The majority party of Mostaqbal Watan (the Nation’s Future) chose to elect Hanafi Gibali, the former chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as the new speaker.
Independent MP Mostafa Bakri said in a press interview on Sunday that he had visited Abdel-Aal at home and asked him to attend parliament’s plenary meetings.
“Abdel-Aal’s response was that as he was the House’s former speaker, it is inappropriate for him to attend meetings,” said Bakri, adding that “Abdel-Aal also said that he has decided not to obtain any money from parliament.”
Bakri also cited Abdel-Aal as saying that he would go on acting as a statesman who sees no problem in electing a new parliament speaker.”
Bakri, however, suggested that “the reason why Abdel-Aal was not re-elected parliament speaker was that because he was in disagreement with the Mostaqbal Watan party.”
In response, Ashraf Rashad, the parliamentary spokesman of Mostaqbal Watan, dismissed the notion that Abdel-Aal was not re-elected speaker because there was a disagreement between him and the majority party.
“The majority Mostaqbal Watan party shows disagreement only when it comes to public interests and without any personal reasons,” said Rashad, adding “please, let’s turn the page of Ali Abdel-Aal, because all can see now that the current parliament is completely different from the former one in terms of performance and debates.”
Rashad also rejected Bakri’s argument that the current parliament is being manipulated by outside forces and that for this reason Abdel-Aal was not re-elected speaker of the new parliament.
“Bakri’s argument in this respect is completely rejected because all MPs were freely elected and that it is Abdel-Aal who chose not to run for the post of parliament speaker,” said Rashad.
Joining forces with Rashad, Mostaqbal Watan MPs insisted that Abdel-Aal should resign if he chooses to continue refusing to attend parliament’s plenary meetings.
MP Abdel-Moneim Imam said the House’s internal bylaws state that if any MP chooses not to attend parliament’s meetings without a prior notice, he should resign.
“Abdel-Aal now has two options: either he attends parliamentary meetings or he resigns and let another one replace him,” said Imam, adding that “anyhow, we see how the new parliament’s performance has become much better than the previous one and how the new speaker is doing much better than Abdel-Aal.”
MP Yasser Omar also said Abdel-Aal has to choose between two options: to resign and stop obtaining any money from parliament or attend the meetings.
“Let me tell Abdel-Aal that his insistence on refusing to attend parliament’s meetings is completely rejected,” said Omar.