July and August… Distinguished Parliamentary Performance for Muslim Brotherhood Bloc
Despite the parliamentary recess that most MPs of the Egyptian People”s Assembly (lower chamber of parliament) spend in summers resorts like other Egyptian citizens, Muslim Brotherhood MPs- out of concern for Egyptian people”s cares and problems, preferred- under the weak performance of Dr. Ahmed Nazif”s government- to exert their utmost efforts in this period to tackle many pressing like the new traffic law- MPs warned against it but were given deaf ears. This made them submit- after the law took effect- many questions related to corruption of the law and the harming it causes to many sections of the society. The same applies also to education and the teachers” Cadre System that witnessed a real crisis between teachers and government causing several demonstrations on the part of the teachers to condemn this unjust Cadre policies. Add to this the government”s attitude towards the weak performance of the Egyptian Olympic delegation in Beijing, and other issues that concern Egyptian citizens specially those related to health, agriculture and industry. Also, there is the attitude towards the fire of the building of the Shura Council (the upper chamber of parliament) and the pace with which emergency action was taken.
The Muslim Brotherhood”s MPs were also concerned with the Palestinian cause and Arab issues.
Following are top issues raised by members of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc in the period between July and August 2008.
Human rights violations and obstruction of the democratic process by some security services
MP Mahmoud Mogahed submitted an urgent question to Dr. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Major Deneral Habib Al-Adli, the Interior Minister, around the security forces” detention of great scholar Sheikh Abdul Khalek Hassan Al Sherif on Sunday afternoon, August, 24th, 2008 from his office based in Seventh District, Nasr City .
Dr. Farid Ismail warned in press statements from consequences of the Interior Ministry”s violations to freedoms of persons and looting people”s belongings in the nationwide systematic crackdown on Islamic bookstores.
MP Ashraf Badruddin, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc for Ashmun constituency, governorate of Monoufia Governate, submitted a question to Major General Habib Al-Adli, the Interior Minister, around a missing student in his constituency after this student was detained more than 8 months ago.
The MP explained in his question that student Ibrahim Nagah Abdul Latif was detained on 28 October 2007, pointing out that he was at the end of his university years as he was a fourth year student in the Faculty of Law, Monofiya university, and he lives in the village of Donshway, Ashmun district, Monoufia. He confirmed that the place of detention of this student hasn”t been known yet.
Engineer Saad Al Husseini, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc for El-Mahalla El-Kubra constituency, demanded immediately releasing blogger Dr. Mamdouh Al-Muneer, who was detained against the backdrop of 6 April incidents. He also demanded giving reasons for rearresting Al-Muneer and violating his release rulings in addition to violating his legal and constitutional rights.
Dr. Mohamed Al Beltagi submitted an urgent question to Major General Habib Al-Adli the Interior Minister about the delayed security presence in Shubra Al Khaymah region.
He wondered why is the delay in the promise of a third Police Station to protect streets of West and East of Shubra Al Khaymah from drug dealers and their prot?©g?©es who spread panic in the region with their killings and assaults among residents.
Economic, Administrative Mismanagement in State Services, Fighting Corruption
Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood”s parliamentary bloc, demanded Dr. Fathi Serour, the People”s Assembly speaker, summon the economic committee to discuss the report of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics in which it confirmed that inflation rate is on the increase.
He questioned government reports that confirm that inflation is under control while the report of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics confirms that the increase in main commodities is beyond reach of most Egyptian people.
MP Azab Mostafa submitted a question to the Prime Minister around what was revealed by the Central Auditing Organization”s report about wasting public money on phosphate project Abu Tartour , whose cost reached about 10.8 billion Egyptian pounds since it was established, 31 years ago.
Also Dr. Hamdi Hassan demanded in an urgent question revealing claims of the profiteering of the son of the Minister of Labour. Also, MP Mahmoud Helmi submitted an urgent question around violations committed by top statesmen on lands of the project of Al-Salam canal.
Also MP Hassanein Al Shoura submitted an urgent question to Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport, around the fate of Suez Canal revenues.
Dr. Abdul Hamid Zaghloul submitted an urgent question to the Minister of Culture around the decision of demolishing the oldest customs building in Egypt .
MP Taimour Abdul Ghani offered an urgent question to Prime Minister around the successive collapses in the stock exchange sector.
MP Saber Abul Fattouh criticized the Interior Ministry for not making citizens get acquainted with the new traffic law. He said- in a question tabled to the Prime Minister, the Interior Minister and the Minister of Administrative Development- that the fines collected in 48 hours of applying the new traffic law reached one million Egyptian pounds, highlighting society”s ignorance of this law”s articles and penalties.
MPs sheikh Al Sayed Askar, Ali Laban, Hassanein Al Shoura, and Ibrahim Zakariya Yunus, members of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc, demanded Dr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour, the People”s Assembly speaker, hold an emergency session for the transportation committee including Ministers of Investment and Transportation to discuss the grave violations and wasting public property in the Underground Metro affiliated to Egyptian National Railways according a serious report issued by the Central Auditing Organization.
Also MP Mohsen Radi criticized the Ministry of Culture for wasting public money through encouraging belly dancing parties. MP asked- in an urgent question submitted to the Minister of Tourism- about the measures taken by officials to stop this continuous waste of public property.
MP Mohamed Youssef, member of the transportation committee in the People”s Assembly, tabled an urgent question to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport around the failure that ferry Red Sea Jet faced, forcing it to stop in the middle of the Red Sea water for more than 5 hours. He submitted another question about the farce of Tahta- Suhaj rail station as the luxury and air-conditioned Spanish train no. 1903 did not stop at the station on August, 21st, 2008, at 12 : 30 in the morning denying access to 35 citizens who have already paid the price of tickets, describing what happened as a neglect on the part of the railway services, and a violation to dignity the Egyptian citizens.
Dr. Farid Ismail tabled an urgent question to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport around the weak safety measures at railway services, leading to the tragic accident of Marsa Matrouh train at Foka level crossing, leaving more than 40 dead and dozens of citizens injured.
MP Mohsen Radi a member of the Muslim Brotherhood”s parliamentary bloc accused government of trading and selling free pilgrimage visas to Egyptian citizens. He also accused government of turning it into a black market led PM Nazif who forced tourist companies to provide 120 million pounds for 10 thousand visas.
And Radi called Dr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour, the People”s Assembly speaker, to summon for an emergency session the committee of tourism and media to stop government violations over giving 10 thousand more pilgrimage visas to tourist companies to reach 20 thousand visas out of the 68000 visas given to Egypt .
MP Ali Laban, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood”s parliamentary bloc, warned the committee of religious affairs in the People”s Assembly against selling free pilgrimage visas, and called in an urgent meeting for reconsidering Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif”s approval to give tourism companies more ten thousand free pilgrimage visas without taking guarantees that they won”t be sold in violation to law.
Concerning improving standard of living, confronting price hikes
MP Dr. Yasser Hammoud submitted a question to the Oil Minister over the incident of workers of Ajeeba oil company who staged a sit-in in response to the threats they faced because they wanted to be turned to full time workers and related rights.
Dr. Farid Ismail tabled a question to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance over not implementing the Constitutional Court “s ruling for pensioners, as the changing wage hasn”t been paid yet along with the monthly or retroactively suspended payments, in spite of the Constitutional Court “s binding ruling that the government must implement.
MP Saber Abul Fattouh called on government to quickly pay incentives to workers in the Ministry of Education.
The MP criticized- in a question to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education- the government”s delay in paying the Cadre System for the workers of the Ministry of Education, ratified by the People”s Assembly in the public session on June, 2nd, 2008, according to suggestion tabled to the Education Committee by MP Ibrahim Zakariya Yunus.
MP Saber Abul Fattouh, a member of the parliamentary bloc, offered a question to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Religious Endowments over not approving the special cadre related to imams and preachers in the Ministry of Endowments.
The MP pointed out that imams and preachers need such a cadre system like teachers until so as to be fully devoted to Islamic mission and to spread values of the tolerant religion away without any psychological pressures or social burdens that the Egyptian society is currently undergoing.
Dr. Gamal Qorani offered an urgent question to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, over the terrible price hikes of key drugs and medication on most Egyptian patients.
MP Farid Ismail warned of the seriously continuing road accidents under the serious lack of allocations for the urgent therapy, first aid and emergency sections.
The MP revealed many serious surprises in an urgent question to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif and Dr. Hatem Al-Gabali, the Minister of Health, topped by the 1108 accidents that took place only in 22 days on the Northern Coast road and the Desert Road at a distance of 540 kilometres killing hundreds of citizens in addition to thousands of other accidents in the various agricultural, desert or coast roads inn Egypt and the losses may exceed losses of the wars that Egypt went through.
MP Abdul Fattah Eid, member of the parliamentary bloc for Monoufia Governate, submitted an urgent question to Dr. Hatem Al-Gabali, the Minister of Health and Population, in which he revealed the minister”s plan for exploiting Humiyat buildings in hospitals of the governorate to turn them to investment health centers.
MP Ali Laban submitted an urgent question to the People”s Assembly speaker and the Minister of parliamentary affairs, over the decisions that may eradicate Al Azhar Al Sharif and may lead to driving Al Azhar students out to join public education schools in violation to the constitution, law and the recommendations of the education committee issued on July, 30th, 2008.
MP Mohsen Radi offered an urgent question to the Minister of Higher Education around the current fragile state of the scientific research in Egypt . Radi cited testimonies of a professor of economy and an expert in the Developing Countries Research Center in which he said that the Egyptian atmosphere isn”t appropriate for the scientific research and efficiencies, and isn”t appropriate for holding scientific researches, although workers in the field of scientific research in Egypt are up to 120 thousands.
Dr. Ahmed Diab, the undersecretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood”s parliamentary bloc and a member of the education committee in the People”s Assembly, described the method adopted by most Arab governments towards education as driving out scientists through the deliberate negligence of scientific research.
Diab voiced in press statements his anger over the Arabs scientific status, not giving due care to scientific research and driving scientists out while governments of the developed countries put scientific research on top of their priorities, take care of scientists, and consider them as indispensable human resources. He also criticized the meager ranking of Egypt among countries in the quality of education, ranked 119 among 131 countries all over the world in the quality of education.
Also, the committee of education and scientific research witnessed a fierce confrontation between Muslim Brotherhood MPs and government”s MPs while discussing questions submitted by the Muslim Brotherhood MPs around flagrantly raising Azhar education fees, in questions tabled by MPs Ali Laban, Ibrahim Zakariya Yunus and Dr. Ahmed Diab.
The MPs confirmed that they offered urgent written Urgent written questions to doctor Ahmed Fathi Sorour, who referred them to the committee for their discussion, around the increase of expenditures of the academic year to the Azhar institutes and a transfer many of them to typical institutes by expenditures that reach 300 pounds instead of 30 pounds with giving the students of the Azhar institutes a new additional material to the English language .
And they confirmed that the transferred referral request from doctor Sorour to the committee was by a history 22 / 7 / 2008 AD nevertheless he did not discuss despite the seriousness of matter that the managers of the Azhar region in the newspapers declared, and the Muslim Brotherhood MPs confirmed that the committee must the discussion of this serious matter that will empty Al-Azhar and its institutes of the students who will head for the public education .
Teachers” cadre system
Ibrahim Zakariya Yunus, member of the Muslim Brotherhood”s parliamentary bloc, demanded Yusri Al Gamal, the Minister of Education, apply rules and exams of the cadre system on him and on top officials of the ministry.
The MP said- in an urgent question submitted to the Minister of Education:” The expected result of the test on the minister and the top officials will be known to all: a complete failure” describing what happened with the teachers in the exams as shameful, provocative and offensive.
Failure in Beijing Games
MP Hisham Al-Qadi blamed government for the horrible and complete failure of the Egyptian Olympic delegation in Beijing Olympic Games 2008. He demanded in an urgent question government to quickly intervene to investigate and interrogate all sports federations that participated in this tragic result for the Egyptian sport in an international event. He stressed that expanded investigations must be held with all officials who led to this heavy defeat, highlighting laying down a future plan to boost the Egyptian sport.
MP Azab Mostafa submitted another question in which he demands those who caused the defeat of the Egyptian delegation that cost millions of pounds in Beijing Games held accountable.
Shura Council fire
The Muslim Brotherhood MPs from Cairo and Giza rushed to the scene from the very beginning in a bid to curb it and to help responsible authorities overcome this disaster.
MP Azab Mostafa demanded this “government of crises” be sacked in the wake of the Shura Council fire, in a parliamentary question about details of this disaster.
Engineer Saad Al Husseini submitted a question to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif around the “farce” of extinguishing the Shura Council fire, confirming that what happened shows the Interior Ministry”s failure in responding to any kind of crisis. This requires also reformulating the ministry”s policies and make face lifts for its targets formation in a way that matches what it should do to the benefit of the nation and citizens without sticking to bureaucracy, minor targets and narrow-mindedness.
Several Brotherhood bloc MPs submitted parliamentary questions demanding the details of the cause of fire revealed and that those responsible for this disaster held accountable.
Rights of Egyptians overseas
Sheikh Mohamed Abdul Rahman, member of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc, submitted a question to Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of Labor around what 70 Egyptian citizens are facing in Libyan Jamahiriya.
Dr. Farid Ismail, a member of the bloc, submitted a question to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif and Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit over the Italian government”s closure of mosques and harassing Muslims who perform religious rituals, its ill-treatment against them, and violating human rights that give everyone the right to worship and do rituals of his religion.
Supporting the Palestinian cause
The Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc in the Egyptian People”s Assembly thanked and appreciated in a statement the two ships that broke the siege on Gaza and thanked also everyone who participated in and contributed to bringing this mission to success despite obstacles and warnings. The statement added that it is a brave humanitarian step in breaking a siege imposed on about 1 1/2 million persons in the worst humanitarian disaster in the modern world.
Dr. Mohamed Saad Al Katatni, the bloc leader, called on Egyptian government to open Rafah Crossing and not to take part with the Zionists in the blockade of Gaza residents, pointing out that the history will never be merciful on those responsible for this siege.
The Brotherhood bloc demanded government – on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan- end this siege and called on all national powers to press for this demand to support our besieged brothers.
MP Mahmoud Mogahed Ahmed, member of the Muslim Brotherhood”s parliamentary bloc, submitted a parliamentary question to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif and Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit over the retreating official Egyptian role in backing the Palestinian cause, specially regarding the blockade imposed on Gaza residents, and Egypt”s none responding to Hamas elected government”s continuous demands for ending the blockade and sending Arab foreign ministers to the Strip, to declare their and their countries” rejection to occupation and starvation imposed on these people through imposing political and economic control over them.
MP Mogahed submitted also a question to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, in which he asked about the validity of presence of an official Saudi and Egyptian plan to seize Gaza Strip and return it to pre 1967 Zionist occupation.
MP Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc and vice-president of the International Forum for Islamist Parliamentarians, condemned kidnapping MP Mona Mansour, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a member of the International Forum for Islamist Parliamentarians on Monday dawn July, 21st, 2008.
The MP denounced in a press statement the barbaric way “in which a female parliamentarian freely elected by the Palestinian people was kidnapped. Huge forces of the occupation army stormed her house, and hideously arrested her in front of her children and nearly fully demolished her house after seizing PCs without allowing any of her children to say goodbye to her or contact any body.
Dr. Farid Ismail submitted an urgent question to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister over Egypt “s role in resisting the fierce attack against brother country Sudan and the groundless claims of the International Criminal Court”s prosecutor against president Omar Al-Bashir the symbol of Sudan “s sovereignty.
The Muslim Brotherhood bloc offered its best wishes and congratulations to Lebanese government and people on the safe return of Lebanese prisoners from occupation prisons topped by the longest serving Lebanese prisoner Samir Al-Qintar.
MP Hussein Ibrahim, the bloc”s deputy leader and spokesman, said that the bloc sees this as a victory to the will of the Lebanese people and resistance.
The Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc in the Egyptian People”s Assembly congratulated the Lebanese people and Lebanese president on forming the national unity government headed by Fouad Siniora, after several rounds of talks that worried observers of Lebanese affairs.
Also, the bloc called on- in the words of MP Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, the bloc”s deputy leader and spokesman- all Mauritanian conflicting parties to give priority to national interests and resorting to ballot boxes to end disengagements roiling the Mauritanian experience that has recently matured and became a role model for many countries of the region.
“The coup that has recently taken place in Mauritania does not serve stability. It rather sends it into a dark tunnel”, said Ibrahim in a press statement, highlighting activating democratic and legitimate measures in holding the government accountable for the potential violations. These measures may include a no confidence motion in parliament.
Also MPs Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, deputy leader of the parliamentary, and engineer Saad Al Husseini a member of the bloc, paid a visit to Jordan to meet MPs of the Islamic Action Front Party (IAF) and they met MP Zaki Bin Arsheed, the IAF Secretary-General and several other IAF MPs in Jordanian parliament.
Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim said in press statements after his return said that the visit- on IAF invitation- aimed at reaching some sort of cooperation between members of the parliamentary bloc in the Egyptian People”s Assembly and MPs of the Islamic Action Front Party in Jordan in general national issues that concern the Muslim and Arab world.