Press Statement by People’s Assembly Speaker about Dr. Ganzouri’s Recent Remarks
Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, Speaker of the People’s Assembly, said that parliamentary norms dictate the resignation of any government rejected by the elected parliament, if it indeed respected the Egyptian people, who gave their trust, their votes to their parliament.
Further, Dr. Katatni added that if the government did not resign, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who currently holds the reins of power in the country, has to dismiss or dissolve the government, if it indeed respects the will of the people who elected this parliament and gave it full oversight powers to monitor government performance and correct the course of the executive branch.
In a press statement, Dr. Katatni also said that certain media outlets reported that Dr. Kamal Ganzouri, the Prime Minister, denied threatening the dissolution of parliament.
“Lt Gen Sami Annan, SCAF’s Vice President and Chief of Staff, was present during the discussion with Dr. Ganzouri about the lawmakers’ condemnation of the government’s performance, which was described as very weak and clearly failing. He can confirm what happened.”
The People’s Assembly Speaker mentioned that a meeting was attended by Dr. Sami Annan, Dr. Ganzouri and Dr. Katatni himself, just over a month earlier, when almost all MPs intensified their criticism of the government and demanded a vote of no confidence because of the Cabinet’s failure to resolve the crises of cooking gas, gasoline and diesel fuel.
Dr. Katatni further mentioned that, at the time, he said to the Prime Minister, “Although the constitutional declaration does not directly grant parliament the right to withdraw confidence, parliamentary norms and even the 1971 Constitution do grant parliament the right to reject the Government’s official statement.
“A government whose statement is thus rejected, must resign, out of respect for the people’s desire. If it did not do so, SCAF must dismiss it, also in response to the people’s wishes and out of respect for the elected parliament.
To this, Dr. Katatni continued, Dr. Ganzouri’s blatant reply was: "The complaint aiming to dissolve the parliament is on a shelf at the Constitutional Court. It can be pulled out (and considered) at any time".
The parliament speaker responded saying that no-one could dissolve the Parliament except for the Parliament itself, because the constitutional declaration, when it did not give Parliament the right to withdraw confidence from the government, it did not grant SCAF the right to dissolve parliament either.
Moreover, Dr. Katatni explained that if such a ruling is indeed issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court, the only party that can dissolve the parliament is the parliament itself, which can discuss the ruling and implement it, out of respect for judicial rulings, and so the parliament of the revolution is not in any way similar to the fraudulent parliaments of the defunct National Party, which totally disregarded judicial rulings.
Furthermore, Dr. Katatni said: “When the Egyptian people gave their votes to the members of this Parliament, they entrusted their MPs with two main tasks.
“The first is passing laws that protect rights and ensure duties are done. The second is to monitor government performance and correct the course of the executive.”
Dr. Katatni further added that the situation in Egypt meant that the government does not represent the Egyptian people or its parliament.
“That is perhaps what made the Cabinet’s performance totally poor, inert and inadequate, as evident in its failure to accomplish its own two tasks, namely: security, which is still absent, and improving living conditions, which is getting worse and worse every day.
“That performance is what drove 347 MPs to reject the Government’s official statement – the first time in the history of Egyptian parliament that the People’s Assembly rejects the Cabinet’s statement, with only 6 MPs approving the statement and 9 abstaining.