Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal announced Thursday that the parliamentary seat of dismissed MP Tawfik Okasha is now vacant, according to a statement published on the parliament’s website.
Article 108 of the Egyptian constitution states “in case a seat of a House of Representatives becomes vacant at least six months prior to the expiry of his tenure, the vacant position must be filled in accordance with Law within sixty days from the date on which the House reports the vacancy”.
The parliament is expected to announce the news election date next week, Egyptian state TV reported. Okasha’s parliamentary membership was dropped Wednesday following a majority of parliamentary votes due to his controversial meeting with the Israeli ambassador to Egypt.
MP Khaled Youssef said TV Wednesday night that since the peace treaty with Israel signed in 1979, no MP has officially or publicly met with an Israeli official.
Okasha ran as a parliamentary candidate in the governorate of Daqahleya, which was among 13 governorates of the second electoral phase that took place in November 2015. He made it to runoff elections among six candidates competing over three seats for the constituency of Talkha, and won a seat.
When elected, Okasha ran for the position of parliamentary speaker, which he lost to Abdel Aal. He has sparked several controversies within the parliament and was absent from the parliamentary session in which President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed MPs, claiming his request to meet with the president were “ignored”.
On his show on Al-Faraeen TV channel, Okasha attacked state security institutions, the government, and several public figures including businessmen, politicians, and TV hosts and ended one episode in February 2016 by calling for early presidential elections.
Meanwhile, the parliament, elected only a few months ago, witnessed the resignation MP Serry Seyam, former head of the Cassation Court, who was among the 28 MPs appointed by Al-Sisi according to a constitutional article allowing the president to appoint no more than five percent of MPs.
A third vacant seat could be available amid ongoing investigations with MP Kamal Ahmed for assaulting Okasha with a shoe inside the parliament, especially since Ahmed previously submitted his resignation from the parliament, which was rejected by a majority of votes.