Salafist advisor Khaled Allam El-Din (Photo: AO)
Recently dismissed Salafist advisor to the president for environmental affairs Khaled Alam El-Din slammed the presidency at a Monday press conference, strenuously denying claims that he had used his advisory post for personal gain.President Mohamed Morsi dismissed Alam El-Din, a leading member of the Salafist Nour Party, on Sunday.
While no official reason for his dismissal was released, Al Jazeera reported that the move came after official reports had surfaced suggesting that Alam El-Din had "attempted to use his position for personal benefit."
The dismissed advisor, who wept while defending his reputation on Monday, said the presidency had sacked him due to his refusal to be a "puppet."
The Nour Party member went on to say he had recently been vocal about his critiques of the president. Citing several of his previous statements, Alam El-Din pointed out how he had frequently complained about a single party dominating Egypt's political scene and failures by the current government.
"El-Mesryoun [a news website close to the Islamist current] has written several articles saying the president's advisor [Alam El-Din] was not satisfied with the president," he said, maintaining that his dismissal had been mainly political.
Alam El-Din went on to say that he had been trying to meet with the president to discuss the decision but had failed to do so, despite the intercession of other presidential advisors Pakinam El-Sharqawy, Diaa Farahat and Emad Abdel-Ghafour.
"None of the decisions were made with my knowledge," Alam El-Din asserted.
At the press conference, he went on to say that he had had to bear most of his expenses during his stint as presidential advisor, as the presidency failed to provide him with sufficient funds.
He dismissed claims that he had illegitimately benefited from his position.
Alam El-Din demanded that President Morsi offer him a formal apology, saying he "would not accept anything less."
Meanwhile, Salafist Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar said at the conference – and again on Twitter – that presidential aide Fouad Gadallah had apologised to party spokesman Ashraf Thabet and had confirmed that the presidency would issue an apology and investigate who had made the statements to the media.
"The presidency had refuted reports that it had thrown accusations at Khaled Alam El-Din… meanwhile, media venues showed [presidential spokesman] Yasser Ali clearly voicing the presidency's accusations," Bakkar complained.
In response, presidential aide Gadallah denied to Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr that the presidency had issued an apology. He said the presidency had not thrown accusations at El-Din either, and that it had only accused members of his staff.
Another presidential aide from the Nour Party, Bassam El-Zarka, also resigned in protest during the press conference.
Lately, the Salafist Nour Party has come into conflict with President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood group from which he hails. The Nour Party has repeatedly accused the Brotherhood of trying to "dominate" Egypt's political scene and "monopolise" state institutions.
The ultraconservative Salafist Party has gone even further, sponsoring an initiative with the National salvation Front, Egypt's main opposition bloc, demanding a cabinet reshuffle and replacement of a Morsi-appointed prosecutor-general.