CAIRO: Firebrand Mortada Mansour started his first minutes of service as a parliamentarian with controversy, after deliberately changing the wording of the oath of office, because he does not “ recognize the January 25 Revolution.”
While swearing in, Mansour said he respects the “constitution’s articles” instead of “the constitution;” when questioned he justified the change, saying he is not committed to the preamble of the constitution, which hails the 2011 revolution and its “martyrs.”
“I do not recognize the January 25 Revolution, I am free [in my beliefs],” he said during the session, which was broadcast on live television, addressing the head of the procedural session, Bahaa Abu Shaqqa, who insisted Mansour should repeat the oath with the right wording.
Mansour finally sworn in again after some parliamentarians approached him and seemingly convinced him. Before he read the oath in a rush, Mansour said “but the first one is in my heart.”
The session was about to be adjourned after uproar broke out due to Mansour’s debate.
The first session witnessed the swearing in of more than 550 members of the parliament.
Sunday’s session marks the first time the country’s legislators have convened in more than three years. The previous parliament, dominated by Islamists, was elected after the January 25 Revolution and was dissolved in June 2012.