Most chaotic moments of Egypt's first parliamentary session

Most chaotic moments of Egypt's first parliamentary session
Egypt's 596 MPs convened on parliament for a drawn-out 17-hour-long session filled with chaotic events on Sunday to swear in every member and elect a speaker and two deputies.
3 min read
12 Jan, 2016
The choas disrupted parliament which has 15 days to ratify over 300 decrees [YouTube]
Egypt's parliament witnessed a lengthy and eventful first session on Sunday with one lawmaker insisting on changing his oath, screaming matches and medics being called in during the assembly's first meeting in three years.

A controversial loud-mouthed parliamentarian almost brought the first session to a premature end when he insisted on swearing to uphold the "articles of the constitution" and not the "whole constitution".

The ever attention-seeking Mortada Mansour said he objected to the constitution stating that 25 January 2011 was a revolution and therefore could not make his parliamentary oath on the constitution in its entirety.

"25 January was an uprising, not a revolution," said Mansour, who is also chairman of the popular football team Zamalek.

The ruckus caused by Mansour prompted acting speaker Bahaa Abu Shoqa to threaten to suspend the session, but after ten minutes of back and forth and deliberation from angry MPs, he gave in and quickly took the oath as it is written.

Mansour was not the only MP meddling with their lines, as some members added "long live Egypt" to the end of the oath.

Social media users shared images of parliamentarians on their mobile phones while in session and others waving at cameras, presumably to their family and friends.

The newly elected parliamentary speaker Ali Abd al-Aal scolded the MPs for their chaotic and childish behaviour saying: "Shame on you all. This is the Egyptian Parliament, and you're on your phones telling people to watch you on television? This is contempt towards the nation."

See Also: Photo gallery: Egypt's new parliament gathers for first time

Abd al-Aal later got into a heated screaming match with other MPs over postponing the proceedings till the next day.

In an unexpected turn of events, one MP fainted during the epically long session and needed to be transferred to hospital.

The constant chaos threatened to disrupt the busy schedule of the newly elected parliament, which has 15 days to ratify over 300 presidential decrees and amendments.

Since parliament was dissolved in the summer of 2012 by the country's highest court, interim leaders and presidents have ruled by decree.

According to the constitution, MPs now have just 15 days to ratify all presidential decrees issued since January 2014, when the constitution was ratified in a national referendum.

Any decrees issued before that date will not be up for discussion, but MPs are still being called upon to review 289 legislative items issued by President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, as well as 42 decrees issued by his predecessor, interim president Adly Mansour.

The current assembly is dominated largely by businessmen and former members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's now-defunct National Democratic Party.