Screenshot of MP Mortada Mansour while saying the oath in the first parliamentary session on Sunday 10 January, 2016
During the first procedural session of the Egyptian parliament, controversial lawyer and MP Mortada Mansour refused to recite the oath in its proper form, provoking the ire of other parliamentarians.
Mansour swore that he would respect the “articles of the constitution,” not he constitution itself.
Earlier in the day, Mansour revealed to Egyptian newspaper El-Masry El-Youm his intention to change the wording of the oath while swearing in.
Mansour explained that he objected to the constitution's preface, which pays tribute to both the 25 January 2011 revolution that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, and the 30 June 2013 revolution that ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
“25 January was an uprising not a revolution,” Mansour stated, adding that it was "hijacked" by the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
“No other constitutions [in the world] have a preface,” Mansour asserted.
Mansour was not asked to repeat the oath in its official version, although another parliamentarian was required to repeat it after making a minor error while reciting it.
Immediately after Mansour's swearing of the oath, the bailiff reminded MPs that “the oath should be read said as is, without deleting or adding any words to it.”
Mansour — chairman of the Zamalek Sporting Club since March 2014 — has been a controversial figure in Egyptian politics since the 1990s, known for filing lawsuits against his critics.
Egypt’s largest legislature to date, this newly-formed parliament has ended a four-year parliamentary hiatus.
The MPs are divided into 448 independents, 120 party-based deputies and 28 presidential appointees.