CAIRO: The Journalists’ Syndicate general assembly, assigned to discuss the budget and last year’s performance, again failed to reach its quorum Friday after only 30 out of 6,500 registered members attended.
The general assembly, the first to be convened after the resignation of five board members on Wednesday, was postponed to March 18 when only 25 percent of members will be required to attend.
"Usually budget meetings aren’t attended by member journalists. Also, the board wasn’t serious in calling for the general assembly," said Abeer Saady, one of the syndicate’s board members who resigned.
However, Saady said that this general assembly can’t discuss any topics other than the budget.
An emergency general assembly was called for last Monday to discuss journalists’ demands and to call for new board elections, but it failed to reach its quorum.
A board meeting on Wednesday was set to schedule a date for the new elections but failed as differences between members demanding early elections and others demanding that the board complete its terms evolved into a fist fight.
"We were serious in setting a date for early elections and becoming an interim board until a new one is elected, but there was a split among the members and the vote ended six to six, so we resigned," Saady said.
Members who resigned include Yehia Al-Alash, Gamal Fahmy, Yasser Rezq and Alaa Thabet.
Journalists have been protesting against the leadership of their state-run newspapers, demanding their change due to their stances against the revolution.
They are also demanding banning the intervention of any authority in their affairs, the issuance of a syndicate’s law and the modification of press laws.
"We chose to resign form our posts to allow the general assembly to elect a new chairman and board for the syndicate, according to the syndicate’s bylaws," read a statement they issued.
The syndicate’s chairman, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, resigned last month responding to calls by hundreds of journalists.
Ahmed is known for being a supporter of the former regime. He appeared on state TV condemning the January 25 Revolution, which outraged hundreds of journalists.