CAIRO: A by-election shall be held within 60 days to fill the vacant seat of MP Tawfiq Okasha who was dismissed from parliament Wednesday following his meeting with Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, constitutional law professor told Al Ahram Thursday.
The seat must be filled in order to maintain a quorum of seats, the head of the constitutional law dept. at Mansoura University Salah Fawzy told Al Ahram Thursday.
The term of the new member shall be the remainder of the term of his predecessor, Fawzy added.
During a parliament session on Wednesday, the Egyptian House of Representatives voted to revoke Okasha’s membership for “violating the principle of the separation of powers and disrupting Egypt’s parliamentary rules,” parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al was quoted as saying by Youm7.
The decision came after the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating MP Tawfiq Okasha’s meeting with the Israeli ambassador to Egypt in his home last week recommended a year-long suspension from the parliament.
Okasha’s meeting with the Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Haim Koren stirred public controversy and outrage among MPs who called the move as a “sign of normalization” with Israel; a notion that has been rejected by public opinion in spite of the bilateral diplomatic ties of the two countries.
In a talk show aired at his Al Faraeen T.V. channel Saturday, Okasha asserted he had informed intelligence services of the ambassador’s visit adding that “there is no penalty against hosting a foreign ambassador.”
Okasha won the highest number of votes among independent candidates in his electoral constituency of Talkha and Nebaroh in Egypt’s Delta governorate of Daqahlia, with over 90,000 votes. He was dismissed less than two month after the long-awaited Egyptian parliament convened in January this year.