State stands by Engineers Syndicate head after violent no-confidence vote: Minister

Amr Kandil , Friday 9 Jun 2023

The state affirms confidence in incumbent head of the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate Tarek El-Nabarawy, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources and engineer Hani Sewilam said Thursday, after a no-confidence motion to remove the syndicate head from office late in May ended in violence.

Egyptian state affirms confidence in Engineering Syndicate head after no-confidence motion ends in violence


Prime Minister Mosatafa Madbouly, Sewilam and Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir intervened to resolve the crisis amid an ongoing legal dispute between the syndicate head and some board members over the recent violence.

Videos circulating online showed counters at the no-confidence vote being assaulted and ballot boxes and papers being destroyed by a cohort of what many called “thugs” at the syndicate’s General Assembly meeting on 30 May in Cairo International Convention Centre in Cairo’s Nasr City.

A press conference on Thursday organised by the syndicate and attended by El-Nabarawy as well as El-Wazir and Sewilam, who are also engineers and members of the syndicate, saw the announcement of resignation of six board members.

The resigned members include Secretary-General Yousry El-Deeb, Assistant Secretary-General Ahmed Sabry, Treasurer Mohamed Nasser, Assistant Treasurer Moataz Barakat, First Undersecretary Hossam Rezk and Undersecretary Ehab Khedr, according to reports.

El-Nabarawy had earlier accused “the secretary-general, his assistant, the assistant treasurer and others” of “working in flagrant and deep collusion” to stage the attacks.

The syndicate head accused armed “thugs” belonging to the pro-government and parliamentary majority party Mostaqbal Watan of storming the no-confidence vote in a bid to stop the process after preliminary voting appeared in favor of keeping the head in his post.

The Public Prosecution has been investigating the incident after it received complaints from “the competing parties” over the incident that sparked outrage among engineers and citizens alike.

State confirms confidence

“The masses of engineers and the Egyptian state confirm their confidence in Engineer Tarek El-Nabarawy, the head of the Engineers Syndicate,” the irrigation minister said during the press conference.

The engineers and the state also denounce “what was carried out by a few that do not appreciate the role and weight of the Engineers Syndicate and the role of the engineers in building modern Egypt,” Sewilam added.

He also stressed the unity of the General Assembly and its solidarity with the syndicate head in upholding the engineering profession and caring for the engineers’ interests.

The transport minister, for his part, extended appreciation for both El-Nabarawy and the board members for their efforts to serve the engineers during their tenure.

El-Wazir also expressed their appreciation for the resignations, saying this “affirms that they are not power-hungry and are keen on [maintaining] the syndicate’s coherence,” a statement by the Ministry of Transport read.

Withdrawing complaints

“The [transport] minister called for all those who filed complaints against their colleagues [in the syndicate] to withdraw them and resolve the disputes inside their syndicate.”

However, El-Nabarawy wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that he “would not withdraw any of the complaints that he filed on Wednesday, 31 May, and have been investigated by the prosecution on 1 and 5 June.”

In TV remarks, El-Nabarawy thanked the transport and irrigation ministers for attending the press conference and extending support to the syndicate.

He stressed that he would continue to defend the engineers’ rights that were violated on the day of the incident.

El-Nabarawy also reiterated his call for the announcement of the result of the no-confidence vote on that day in respect for the right of 25,000 engineers who attended the vote.

No-confidence motion

The no-confidence motion was called after El-Nabarawy proposed a number of bylaws that provoked the ire of some members of the syndicate board, said MP Maha Abdel-Nasser, the vice president of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, who witnessed the attack.

The bylaws included one “to prevent members of the syndicate board from becoming board members of companies owned by the syndicate, and to prevent the sale of the shares of any of these companies,” said Abdel-Nasser.

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