CAIRO: Fathi Sorour was re-elected Wednesday as the head of the People’s Assembly for the 19th consecutive time.
In the PA’s internal elections, Sorour ran unopposed and won 335 out of a total 337 votes to act as chairman of the upcoming parliamentary round, as opposition MPs boycotted the elections.
Zeinab Radwan and Abdel Aziz Mostafa, who also ran unopposed, were re-elected as Parliament deputies, both receiving 312 of the 337 votes.
The elections were boycotted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds roughly a fifth of the seats in Egypt’s Parliament, and some independent members. A number of MPs refused to take part in the elections because of what they believe is the ruling National Democratic Party’s policy in taking over the PA, impeding independent and MB members’ representation in the PA’s committees.
Sobhy Saleh, PA member affiliated with the Brotherhood, accused the NDP of being incapable of eliciting change as well as preventing any other party from making a change.
“The NDP killed any form of life in the PA, he said.
Saleh told Daily News Egypt that the NDP failed to “run the country’s administration and the country’s affairs and it has proven its incompetence when it comes to handling crises.
“However, the NDP is persistent in being the sole ruling power and this parliament’s internal elections is living proof of that, Saleh said.
“There are around 80 seats in the parliament’s head office and committees that are taken by the NDP, he added.
For NDP MPs, there were no alternatives for Sorour. “Objectively speaking, Dr Sorour is the best candidate for this position given his regional and international experience in the parliamentary affairs, said Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, MP and member of the ruling party.
“Sorour previously held this chairperson position in many previous Arab Parliament sessions, and no one can argue or doubt his professional experience, Kwaitah continued.
Gamal Zahran, independent PA member told Daily News Egypt that the results of the elections “indicate that no change is to take place any time soon and that the situation is stable for the NDP.
Zahran described the elections as a charade put on by the NDP as part of its plan to take over the PA and said that the results are inconsistent to the democracy that should be implemented inside the PA.
“There should be equal and balanced representations of all parties and political groups inside the PA and on its different positions, Zahran added.
Zahran also pointed out that the MPs who are heading the PA’s committees are businessmen, implying a conflict of interest. He cited business moguls Ahmed Ezz, chairman of the planning and budget committee, Mohamed Abou El-Enein chairman of the industry and energy committee.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the MB parliamentary bloc held its internal elections in which Saad Al-Katatny was re-elected for the third time as the head of the MB parliamentary bloc with 40 out of 77 votes.
Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim was elected as the deputy member of the MB parliamentary bloc with 42 out of the 77 votes.
The elections for the PA’s internal committees will be held on the coming days, with only NDP members running for the chairpersons’ seats.