Friday, 27 January 2012

Egypt: Salafi rebuked by Speaker

The leader of the house - that is the eldest MP - Dr Mahmoud El Sakka opened the first session before the election of the speaker and his two deputies. Dr El-Sakka, 81, a member of Wafd, asked for recognition of the more than 800 Egyptians who had been killed in the protests that led to the overthrow of the former regime. “I invite the distinguished assembly to stand and read the fatiha (Muslim prayer) in memory of the martyrs of the 25 January revolution ... because the blood of the martyrs is what brought this day.”

Each new MP then had to read the oath. This process was going smoothly until Mamdouh Ismail of the Al-Asala, a Salafist party, added the phrase “in whatever does not contradict God's law”. The speaker rebuked him and told him to stick to the original text.

Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, who is not a member of parliament, also marked what has become known as 25 January Revolution Day. He commemorated those who gave their lives: “They have sacrificed for the sake of the nation and for achieving freedom, democracy and social justice.” But he showed also where his loyalties lay by paying obeisance to the army: “I salute the brave military council for meeting its promises.”

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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