Ali Abdul Aal was elected Sunday as the new parliamentary speaker for Egypt’s new House of Representatives, with a total of 401 votes.
Elections occurred via secret ballot boxes. Both the voting and vote counting procedures were held inside the parliament for transparency. There were 580 valid votes and five were voided.
In total, seven candidates officially announced during the session their wish to run for the position after temporary parliamentary speaker Bahaa Abu Shoka announced opening the door for candidacy and gave each candidate three minutes to briefly introduce themselves.
Abu Shoka initially announced that introductions would be forgone to save time, but MP Anisa Hassouna objected, stating she “did not know all candidates”.
Kamal Ahmed was the first MP to request candidacy and said had been in the public sphere since 1965 and an MP in 1976 and 2005. “During my career as an MP, I presented many interrogations to officials regarding stock market and price hikes,” he said. He acquired 36 votes.
Ali Abdul Aal then spoke of his career in law making; he is known to be the candidate supported by Sameh Seif El-Yazal’s parliamentary coalition, known as Egypt’s Support.
Moreover, former minister of social solidarity Ali Moselhy announced his desire to run for the position and said he had taken part in several national projects and talked about his experience in the telecommunications field. He acquired 110 votes.
Controversial MP Tawfik Okasha also maintained his previous announcement to run for the position of parliamentary speaker. During the session, he cited the 30 June uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood as his grounds for running. “I also do not believe that the position requires expertise in legal affairs,” Okasha said. He acquired 25 votes.
Two others MPs, Eid Heikal and Khaled Abu Taleb, also applied for the position.
The parliamentary session is its first and began at 9 am. The session was announced and run by Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoka, the Secretary-General of Al-Wafd Party, and an appointed member of the parliament among 27 others chosen by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 31 December 2015.
Abu Shoka temporarily administered the session since he is the eldest member, according to the legal stipulations. Before his appointment, MP Amna Nosseir was believed to become the parliament’s temporary speaker for the same legal reason.
New MPs were sworn in Sunday during the first procedural session of Egypt’s newly elected House of Representatives.
A total of 596 MPs were set to take the oath individually during the first few hours of the session. Abu Shoka announced the absence of some members for personal reasons that prevented them from attending the first session.
The session witnessed some disorder when controversial MP Mortada Mansour refused to stick to the literal text of the swearing oath.
During his swearing in, Mansour engaged in a verbal altercation with Abo Shoka before finally submitting to Abu Shoka’s request to repeat the oath without his “personal additions”.
Other MPs began vocally admonishing Mansour, who claimed “nobody could force him into saying something he does not want to say”. Several MPs were also seen disputing and shouting, as the session was broadcast live on the state-owned Sot Al-Shaab channel.
Abu Shoka threatened to suspend the session to restore order to the session. Abu Shoka obliged Mansour to re-swear and stick to the initial oath, according to article 104 of the constitution.
The constitution stipulated that “as a condition for undertaking his/her duties, a House of Representatives member shall take the following oath: I swear by The Almighty God to loyally uphold the republican system, respect 30 the Constitution and the Law, fully uphold the interests of the People, and to safeguard the independence of the nation and the integrity and safety of.”
Furthermore, some MPs claimed “doubts” over the transparency of the election of the parliamentary speaker, so the process was halted and restarted.