Egypt: MP Okasha Ousted from Parliament


Egyptian TV host and MP Tawfiq Okasha has been ousted from the parliament on Wednesday for meeting the Israeli ambassador to Egypt.

The decision came after 200 MPs demanded the expulsion of Okasha. He was condemned for inviting Haim Koren at his home in the northeastern Dakahlia province.

Koren confirmed that Okasha called him to meet at his residence.

“He proposed the meeting, at which he raised ideas of us helping Egypt in the areas of water, agriculture and education – to try to set up a number of schools with Israeli training,” said Koren.

Okasha said that he met Koren to discuss economical interests. It included  the discussion on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, reports Aljazeera.

Well it raised a debate over Okasha’s discussion on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with Koren.

MP Mostafa Bakry said:“The public image of the parliament has been harmed by Okasha’s behaviour. It contradicts the stance of the parliament in refusing normalisation with Israel. Okasha exchanged information with the ambassador. He discussed important Egyptian files without consulting with the parliament.”

Earlier in a parliament meeting, Okasha was attacked with a “shoe” by a colleague Kamal Ahmed, who criticised him for inviting Koren at his home.  Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal formed a committee to investigate the private-meeting between Okasha and Koren.

On Wednesday, the speaker decided to prohibit Okasha from attending in the first year of the parliamentary sessions as a punishment. But some of the MPs were not satisfied with the decision. They demanded to call for a vote-session to decide Okasha’s status in Parliament, reports Daily News.

In a meeting on 22 February, parliament decided to oust Okasha for affronting the parliament speaker.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979. But, still they struggle to build positive relations. Some Egyptians still criticise diplomatic relations between Israel and Egypt.

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