CAIRO: Independent MP Talaat El-Sadat has submitted his resignation from the People’s Assembly (PA) National Security and Defense Committee in a written memo to house Speaker Fathi Sorour.
El-Sadat said that the committee’s discussion of the construction of the new underground barrier between Egypt and Gaza and the reaction of MPs from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) led him to step down.
“I would like to inform you of my permanent withdrawal from the National Security and Defense Committee, praying that one day its dignity will be restored by members of the NDP and the government, he said in his memo.
El-Sadat also objected to the government’s insistence on ignoring requests from parliament regarding the wall and refusing to elaborate on details of its funding. Additionally, the MP criticized the treatment meted out by NDP MPs towards their counterparts from the Muslim Brotherhood group during the Dec. 30 session.
NDP and Brotherhood MPs had a war of words during the session discussing the wall, triggering the use of inappropriate language.
An aide to El-Sadat told Daily News Egypt, “He submitted the memo to the speaker in part due to the strife between committee members and especially regarding how the Brotherhood members were being treated.
El-Sadat said in his memo that he was withdrawing in objection to “the insult of colleagues from the Muslim Brotherhood and our Palestinian brothers who were labeled drugs and arms dealers, [as well as] the government’s representative [Minister for Parliamentary Affairs)] Mufid Shehab’s refusal to answer our queries on the funding of this wall and its omission from the budget.
A press advisor from El-Sadat’s office told Daily News Egypt that he resigned because of “the entire situation, the atmosphere within the committee, as well as the building of the wall.
Last month, Egypt began constructing an underground barrier on the border with Gaza in an effort to stem the tunnels used for smuggling goods into the Strip which has been under siege for two and half years. Critics have stated that the tunnels are the only lifeline for the region’s 1.5 million inhabitants and that Egypt is helping Israel choke Gaza.
The government, on the other hand, emphasized that this was an issue of national security, noting that the tunnels were also used to smuggle drugs and weapons, and Egyptian sovereignty, which was a red line.
El-Sadat was also displeased that the PA was not consulted on the decision to construct the wall, and that the government refused to answer questions from MPs.