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Members of the People's Assembly had another argument in a late Monday afternoon session after newly elected Speaker Saad al-Katatny suggested they send a thank-you telegram to the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
SCAF head Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi had sent a telegram to the lower house congratulating its members on holding their first session. The People's Assembly sent its reply, but not without debate.
Katatny's reply read, "The members of the People's Assembly commend your personal efforts and those of the SCAF in concluding these historic People's Assembly elections, which represented the longest electoral marathon Egypt has ever seen."
"The People's Assembly commends your historic stances in the great Egyptian revolution. You have taken the side of the people and their peaceful revolution since the outbreak of the first spark of the revolution. And as brave fighters, you shouldered the burden of making this choice," the reply continued.
MP Mostafa al-Naggar of the Adl Party objected to the content of the telegram, saying it would create problems with a lot of Egyptians who believe the SCAF still has a lot of work to do. He added that he was opposed to sending the telegram in principle.
Freedom and Justice MP Gamal Heshmat objected to the telegram's length.
"I hope the telegram will be brief because we are addressing the head of the SCAF and not the president of the republic. We want to call on him to remain committed to handing over power at the scheduled time," Heshmat said.
The telegram should also request the release of all political detainees and arrested revolutionaries, said Labor MP Magdy Qorqor. And after Katatny read out the telegram, one MP asked him to replace "marathon" with a different word.
Despite the objections, the assembly sent the Katatny's telegram as written.
Squabbles had broken out earlier in the day over whether candidates for the speaker position should be allowed to address the chamber. Only one candidate was put forth for speaker under the previous National Democratic Party-dominated People's Assembly, so the question of opponents' speeches had not even been considered.
The first post-Mubarak session of the People's Assembly commenced yesterday, lasting about 12 hours.