Member of parliament Haitham El-Hariri on Monday asked the general prosecutor to submit him to investigations so as to prove his innocence of accusations by the editor-in-chief of private newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, Khaled Salah, reported state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
Salah has accused the MP of using his parliamentary position to receive two salaries from two companies. El-Hariri said he will “voluntarily waive his parliamentary immunity until the completion of investigations”.
These accusations were made during Saturday’s episode of “90 minutes” hosted by TV presenter Moataz El-Demerdash on private channel Al-Mehwar. El-Hariri was being interviewed on the show and said that Al-Youm Al-Sabaa published false news. The presenter then called Salah to comment on these allegations but the phone call quickly devolved into an argument between the journalist and the MP.
In response to El-Hariri’s comments, Salah accused the MP of exploiting his parliamentary position to receive a full salary from his company besides his work in parliament. The MP works for a company that falls under Investment Law No. 159 which stipulates that workers cannot perform in parliament on a full-time basis.
Article 103 of the Constitution stipulates that MPs who work full-time in government sectors must temporarily leave this position and instead devote their time to their parliamentary position.
As El-Hariri was receiving a very low allowance (EGP 3,000), compared to his original salary, he commissioned the company affiliated to the Petroleum Ministry using his position in parliament, in order to receive a full salary of EGP 30,000, Salah reported.
Salah has filed documentation allegedly proving this in a report to the general prosecution.
El-Hariri responded to these accusations saying that, from the beginning of his tenure as an MP, his original company permitted him a full salary besides his full-time work in parliament. He said that his purpose for holding a position in parliament was not to exploit his legal immunity for more money, but rather to help low-income citizens.
MP El-Hariri is a member of the 25-30 Alliance, an opposition coalition in the parliament.