CAIRO: The policies of Finance Minister Yousef Boutros Ghali pose a threat to security and may lead to his assassination, said a parliamentarian this week in an astonishing broadside.
Mohamed Abdel-Fatah Omar, deputy of the national security and defense committee of the People’s Assembly (PA), was called to the meeting of the health committee Tuesday evening to discuss the wages and conditions of Egyptian doctors and nurses, some of whom had demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Health last week.
The main topic of the meeting and the reason Omar was addressing the committee was to look into accusations that security officers from the Ministry of Interior had attacked and beaten a number of the demonstrating nurses, an incident corroborated by an MP who witnessed the incident.
Omar placed the blame squarely at the door of Ghali, saying he “does not consider any other government official, and is hated by the people and the government, and he might be assassinated like his grandfather before him.
The minister’s grandfather, Boutros Ghali Pasha, was assassinated after he was one of the judges who sentenced to death four fellahin (farmers) in the infamous Denshawai incident in 1906, when British soldiers who had gone pigeon shooting fired at villagers, killing one woman.
Omar also insinuated that it was Ghali’s failings that were increasing the number of demonstrations from various sectors in Egypt, and that he was unpopular due to the low standard of wages in the country.
Hamdy El-Sayed, head of the health committee and president of the Doctors’ Syndicate, struck the assassination comment from the minutes of the meeting, but agreed with Omar’s sentiments regarding the finance minister.
“I have received many requests from the Doctors’ Syndicate to organize demonstrations against the low wages because of the stringency of the Ministry of Finance and its disinterest in them, he said.
MP from the ruling National Democratic Party Mohamed Khalil Kwaiteh told Daily News Egypt Wednesday, “Any MP has the right to criticize anyone, but it must be based on facts, for [Omar] to carry out such a personal attack is unacceptable. It is inappropriate to make a comment such as this about a possible assassination.
“Any MP can criticize the finance minister and his policies, but this remark was wrong, he added.
Ghali has come under fire in parliament recently for the new property tax law, which has already been passed but is yet to be implemented.
MPs have objected specifically to the fact that a property tax has been applied to personal homes, and not additional properties one may own.