CAIRO: A total of 146 investigation requests were submitted against the government by MPs in a special session of the People’s Assembly (PA) Tuesday evening to set a schedule for the requests.
Of these, 128 requests were accepted, but tensions ensued between opposition and independent MPs and members of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), who form the majority of parliament.
Additionally, some opposition MPs rescinded their requests due to the high number of submissions, fearing their queries would get lost amidst the high number.
Things reached a head when Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Mufid Shihab expressed his “sympathy for Independent MP Gamal Zahran for the 22 investigations requests he had submitted.
Zahran duly replied that the high number of requests reflected the level of corruption that has blighted Egyptian politics.
He later told Daily News Egypt, “The corruption in Egypt has grown to such an extent . that this number of investigation requests is necessary. Every request rattles the government, if it does not appear so on the surface.
Zahran’s requests center on a plethora of issues, including national projects in Toshka and Sinai which he felt were a misappropriation of public resources. Zahran also alleges that NDP MPs benefit financially from government projects to the tune of around LE1 billion.
Other requests revolve around the deterioration in education and the inability of the government to curb the price of consumer goods.
Zahran expected that only a quarter of his 22 requests would be discussed in the PA, adding, “we asked for more sessions to discuss these investigation requests, but the NDP majority have managed to prevent this.
NDP Secretary of Organization Ahmed Ezz requested an opportunity for NDP members to respond to the numerous requests, as many did not attend these sessions. House speaker Fathi Sorour responded by saying they should have attended.
Shihab said it takes six months for an appropriate response to one investigation request.