The Egyptian Government Clashes with Opposition in Parliament
The Egyptian opposition MPs took advantage of the sessions held to respond to the government statement by condemning its policies. For his part, the Egyptian Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Consultation, Kamal Al Shazly, however, blasted their views as false.
The response sessions to the Egyptian government statement have witnessed bitter clashes between the opposition members of parliament, and Shazly, who is known for his blunt and showy speeches.
Provoked by purely local issues, many MPs, mostly from the democratic ruling party, requested to speak. Each MP attempted to court his electors by presenting the problems of his area including sewage, drinking water, and road problems and some of them even protested against the naming of streets and villages in their areas. The situation changed when the opposition MPs deliberately attacked and criticized the government policies.
Munir Fakhri Abdul Nur, liberal Wafd MP, criticized the inability of the government to recognize the magnitude of the accumulated problems and shortage of liquidity.
Shazly responded in detail to the criticism of Abdul Nur and ended his speech by making sarcastic remarks about the Al Wafd party’s project submitted by Abdul Nur. He told the party to keep it for themselves and use their plan if they ever become the rulers for the country “God forbid”.
Khaled Mohyiddin, the leftist assembly party leader, confirmed in his response that the government announced inaccurate figures in its statement regarding the local debts, which it considered to be only 160 billion pounds. Mohyiddin added that this debt is divided into three types: governmental debt amounting to 164 billion pounds; the Investment Bank debt amounting to 43 billions; and the public economic agencies debt amounting to 41 billion pounds The combined figures bring the Gross Domestic Debt to 249 billion pounds. He added that 48 percent of Egyptian citizens live below the poverty line, according to the most recent census conducted in Egypt. He also criticized bitterly the government project because it did not have a specific strategy for pulling the country out of poverty. The Assembly Party MP, Al Farghaly Badri then spoke reiterating the inaccuracy of the government statement regarding unemployment figures which he claimed have exceeded five millions.
The Minister commented on the Badry’s speech saying that he preferred not to respond to him because all his speech contained harmful words and were without substance.
Unlike other parties, the Muslim Brotherhood MPs criticized the government in a quiet manner and demanded that all laws should conform to the Islamic law, or Shariah.