MB Bloc Positive and Passive Performance

MB Bloc Positive and Passive Performance

For more than three hours, a number of the parliamentary experts participated in evaluating the performance of the MB parliamentary bloc’s performance during the third term (2005- 2010).

Participants in the political salon organized by the MB bloc Sunday evening have evaluated the MB performance at the parliament. So many positive activities were reported by the experts including the wide diversity of issues addressed by the MB bloc and their interest in the national issues as well as punctuality in attending sessions and committees.

Also, certain passive practices were reported by some participants including weak treatment of addressing specific issues and excessive use of supervision powers leading to the superiority of quantity over quality.

Dr. Muhammad Saad Al-Katatni (head of the MB bloc) said that recent term witnessed passing of many important laws especially laws of monopoly, child, real-estate taxes, traffic, etc in which the ruling NDP get used to imposing its political agenda on the parliament.

Mahmoud Muslim (salon moderator) stated that this term was a lot long and witnessed many prominent and successive events and crises including what happened with MB MP Saad Abboud and passing many laws.

He expressed that the intensive presence of opposition made that parliamentary term different from previous sessions. “It’s the first time since the revolution to have such political opposition movements; e.g. the opposition managed to cancel the ‘unconstitutional’ Article 1 of the advocacy law” Muslim asserted.

He added that the MB performance seemed like “24 hours service” for they activated many activities inside the parliament for the first time.

Dr. Waheed Abdul-Majeed (deputy head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies) said “Holding of such meetings to listen to other standpoints has been indeed an appreciated initiative from the side of the Muslim Brotherhood since this means that we move forward though the stagnation the political life suffers from. We suffer from deteriorating political life leading to deterioration throughout all fields including the parliament”.

“If we compare the current parliamentary performance to previous ones of 1987 or even 1976, we’ll discover that performance is giving away because the political stagnation aborts the vivid movements inside the society including the MB” said Abdul-Majeed.

He added that the regime faces its weakest phases due to the towering number of protests and demonstrations that made it use security forces to resist the people. However, the random protests denote the weakness of opposition.

He added that opposition and MB cannot deal with social developments since the society witnessed many changes.

He indicated that the MB have many positive attitudes and performances inside the parliament including their response to national and sensitive issues like the ferry disaster, corruption, unemployment, poverty, and exporting gas to Israel which is a highly sensitive and dangerous issue that needs to be strongly addressed during the next term at the parliament level and the public level as well.

Abdul-Majeed confirmed the necessity of carefully studying the essence of using the parliamentary powers rather than mottoes as well as the significance of cooperation between the different political parties and trends to be able to affect the society and offer something new rather than concentrating on the quantity of queries submitted to the government.

“We want to send a message to the people that we can do change and build new strategies because they are not sure one can reform. We may have different results after coordination among trends” Abdul-Majeed Added.

Muslim commented that queries submitted by the parliamentarians were so many to the extent that 80 queries were filed on the first day of last term mostly deserved not a public discussion demand compared to other queries that occupy the whole and make the government representative answer another day.

Dr. Ahmad Thabet (Professor of Political Sciences at Cairo University) said that there is a stagnated political performance of the opposition and ruling elites. “However we can say that political life, political value, democratic performance, and students’ movement are giving away since the society suffers from poor civil activities that have significant roles in protecting freedoms” he added.

He said that the regime succeeded in confining the opposition and MB parliamentarians as well as independent newspapers to daily issues rather than international ones and reform march.

He added that the MB should be appreciated for activating the parliamentary system; “They surpass all social change movements including Kefaya and others. They brought the daily problems of the people and national issues into focus” he stressed.

“But they should have benefited from other previous experiences. It seemed that the regime suppression of MB freedoms and arrests made them move their policies towards the people and the parliament” he suggested.

Hussein Ibrahim (deputy head of the Mb bloc) agreed with Dr. Abdul-Majeed that this parliament is weaker than that of 1976 and stated that the standing orders are different in both instances. Time set for queries is not more that 20 minutes!

“We seek reducing the number of submitted queries because the PA chooses the weakest query out of so many ones. We seek your help in that issue” said Ibrahim

He added that the MB bloc proposed two bills; one of stopping gas export to Israel and the other for regulating the establishment of political parties.

“We gave precedence of the people’s issues over certain political ones same like what happened during the municipal elections” he resumed.

Dr. Hamdi Hasan (member of the MB parliamentary bloc) agreed with Dr. Abdul-Majeed that quality should be prioritized rather than quantity indicating that laws were discussed and passed in no more than 45 minutes. Further parliamentary tools and powers had no time for discussion.

Hasan stressed that laws were passed chaotically due to lack of sufficient time to examine and discuss the articles.

Dr. Hazem Farouq (member of the MB parliamentary bloc) emphasized that there”s a political and economical sterility leading to the restriction of freedoms such as what takes place at the professional unions. Further, there”s clear-cut swagger within the officials’ speeches. He cited the premier’s words that the MB would have won another 40 seats at the parliament and the cabinet’s reply that prices of exporting gas to Israel are secret!

Abdul-Jawwad Abu-Kub (head of parliamentary affairs at Sabah AL-Khair (Good Morning) magazine) said that he could know the MB 17 MPs in 2000 parliament. However it became difficult for him to recognize another 17 of the current bloc because they lack get addicted to so much speaking and expressed his astonishment at the MB attitude towards Hani Soror who was charged with the contaminated blood and some of the MB parliamentarians supported him!

Dr. Ahmad Thabet refused the idea that the MB bloc should resign to embarrass the regime because the regime wants to vituperate the opposition in case they abandon participation.

Abdul-Majeed stressed the importance of realizing that regime map is changing same like the conflict between President Sadat and advocates of President Abdul-Nasser. He said that five basic laws are expected to be passed during the coming term.

“Political performance in our country cannot bear fruits very quickly; we should work for the future: Abdul-Majeed added suggesting that the bloc should redistribute tasks among themselves.

Al-Katatni denoted that the MB bloc work according to their capabilities because the regime intentionally exclude them.

Regarding the step-down of the MB bloc, he indicated “It’s impossible to resign because the people elected us, therefore we should not abandon struggle”.

He commented on the coordination with the opposition saying that we pay great attention to cooperation with all trends and do respect their opinions because they have their own strategy with the regime.

Regarding the relation between the bloc and businessmen, he said that there are no relations of the kind and that Hani Soror’s was mainly considered a settlement of accounts between the NDP members. Eventually, we expressed our standpoints.