CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood will boycott the upcoming People’s Assembly (PA) internal elections set to take place on Wednesday, Saad Al-Katatny, head of the brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc said.
The MB’s decision came after they were denied the right to participate as chairpersons of the PA’s different internal committees, Al-Katatny said.
“We will boycott the elections to increase democracy inside the parliament, he added.
The PA will resume its 19th session by electing the heads of the parliament’s different committees, who, Al-Katatny claims, are usually from the National Democratic Party (NDP).
For the chairman position, the NDP nominated Fathi Sorour, the current PA chairman.
“We [MB] have sent a delegation of [PA members affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood] to Sorour, asking him to eradicate the NDP’s monopoly over the PA’s committees’ chairperson seats, Al-Katatny said.
The delegation also told Sorour that the MB group, which is comprised of 88 members, should be eligible to head the different PA committees.
Even though Al-Katatny is pessimistic about Sorour’s ability to meet their demands, he believes that “he is convinced and supports our demands. He, however, said that the matter is out of his hands and that the NDP is the one with the decision [since it is the party with the majority of the votes].
Al-Katatny also encourages more MB representation in the PA’s different committees, but believes that is far-fetched as well, “which is why we will boycott the PA’s internal elections.
While it is normal for majority party to have the upper hand, he said, it is common knowledge around the world that the parliament’s committees should have fair representations from the different political parties, not one dominant party.
The MB plans on filing investigation requests as soon as the PA sessions resume addressing issues such as human rights violations, unemployment, price hikes, the deterioration of health services, among other key topics.
Al-Katatny said the group has been following up on several human rights violation cases, pointing out that Egypt “is now in its worst stages in terms of human rights.
Last week, the MB staged a protest in Alexandria, condemning the “violations committed against the Egyptian citizens by the police, Osama Gado, parliament member affiliated with the group, told Daily News Egypt.
Also MP Hisham Al-Kady of the Muslim Brotherhood filed a parliamentary question to the speaker of the PA about the frequency of accidents on Egyptian highways, especially in Upper Egypt, and is expected to file an investigation request when the sessions start.
On the other hand, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, secretary general of Al-Wafd opposition party, told Daily News Egypt that the party has not yet come up with an agenda of what they will discuss in the coming parliamentary session.
“The first couple of sessions usually involve internal elections, Abdel Nour said, adding that the party will hold an official meeting to come up with its agenda.
Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, PA member affiliated with the NDP, said that the NDP has a list of proposed new draft laws. “We have a proposal to amend personal status laws and a proposal to change the PA’s internal elections law to give women more seats.
“That is besides finalizing the long debated organ transplant law, the medical insurance law and the law for addressing the rights of mental health patients, Kwaitah added.
Kwaitah indicated that he himself has two proposals for new draft laws that will be presented to the PA, which relate to sexual harassment and the right to inheritance with accordance to Sharia.