CAIRO: A report by the Public Funds General Prosecution has found that 15 MPs from the People’s Assembly and Shoura Council are implicated in a corruption case involving the exploitation of public funds to gain access to the health ministry’s free medical treatment program, reported the state-owned news portal egynews.net.
If the allegations are confirmed, these MPs will lose their parliamentary immunity and face trial.
The 15 MPs who reportedly belong to the ruling National Democratic Party, the Wafd Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, would face criminal and administrative charges for abusing the free treatment program.
In a series of exposes, newspaper reports revealed that the violations not only include securing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of treatment from the national health budget at private local hospitals, but even free treatment abroad for plastic surgery and other non-urgent procedures.
The case is also currently under investigation by the Administrative Control Authority, the Ministry of Health and the Central Auditing Agency.
In its Friday edition, independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that officials in the National Democratic Party have received a list of members whose names have come up in the investigation and have vowed to disqualify them from the parliamentary elections this fall.
One member of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc at the PA, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: “This will not be the first or last time members of our group are falsely accused or convicted for crimes they didn’t commit, it’s all part of the crackdown on us especially during a year of elections.”
“A member of the parliament has to be diligent and up to the responsibility of being a representative of the people and whoever abuses public funds for their own interests is not worthy of this service. It’s good that they have been exposed now,” said Heidar Al-Boghdadi, an NDP MP.
Independent MP Gamal Zahran said: “We hope that the investigations disclose the names of these MPs as soon as possible. This is good timing. Those who think that they can enter parliament and take advantage of their position now know that they will be exposed sooner or later.”