Following his referral to the disciplinary committee over allegations of offending Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal during Sunday’s general session, member of parliament (MP) Haitham El-Hariri said Monday that he was ready to pay any harsh price for defending his political stances in the parliament.
“I hold on to my rights of expressing my opinion inside the parliament, according to the constitution and the regulations of the parliament. Giving up such rights would be for me a betrayal of the trust and confidence of the people who elected me,” El-Hariri told Daily News Egypt on Monday.
In a video circulated on local news outlets, El-Hariri was seen shouting—as the microphone seemed to have been shut off—while Abdul Aal kept asking him: “are you saying I am violating the regulations of the parliament?” As so, the latter took a vote on taking a disciplinary measure against El-Hariri.
El-Hariri is part of the “25-30” parliamentary coalition which could be considered among the political opposition, especially in face of the pro-state coalition named ‘Egypt’s Support’.
According to the coalition, conflicts erupted inside the parliament on Sunday during discussions on the establishment of the National Elections Commission, an independent authority which, according to Article 208 of the Constitution, “shall be solely competent to administer referenda and elections of the president, the parliament, and the local councils.”
The argument revolved around judicial supervision of the elections, as the “25-30” coalition and other members of the parliament demanded continuous judicial monitoring of elections in Egypt, while the government aimed at limiting such supervision only to the next 10 years.
When the coalition’s members felt they were denied presence on the floor, conflicts escalated.
While Abdul Aal reportedly supported the government claim, parliamentary members eventually voted in favour of maintaining judicial monitoring of the elections without limitation.
El-Hariri could face several sanctions if the disciplinary committee finds him guilty. However, there has been a recent trend of dismissing parliamentary members, especially those known to be critical voices, including Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat, who was recently expelled.