Egypt’s Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal submits resignation

Egypt’s Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal on Sunday submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the official spokesperson for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers Nader Saad announced.

A report prepared by the Culture and Information Committee of the House of Representatives rejected a statement prepared by Heikal regarding his implementation of a government program.

The report said that Heikal and his auxiliary apparatus failed to achieve their desired goals and committed several financial and administrative mistakes, such as combining the positions of Minister of State for Information and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Company for Media Production City and Managing Director which violates the constitution.

The committee has therefore recommended that Heikal be held accountable for his “unsatisfactory” performance, a member of the committee Nader Mostafa said.

“The committee’s meeting was attended by 20 members, and 12 members rejected the minister’s performance and statement, and six members approved Heikal’s statement – but with reservation –  and there was almost an overwhelming majority judging Heikal’s poor performance.”

The committee will demand “political” accountability, Mostafa said, while regulatory bodies will investigate the violations committed during his tenure.

Haikal said in a statement to the Parliament session: “I was honored, upon President of the Republic’s request, to assume the position of Minister of State for Information, on December 22, 2019, and this is a new ministry after a hiatus that lasted for nearly six years. This was a reflection of the president’s vision of the necessity of having a ministry of information whose task would be to set a media policy for the state. This was also a demand of many opinion writers, intellectuals and media professionals because of the vacuum created by the cancellation of the ministry.”

The matter of withdrawing confidence from Heikal will be left to the parliament’s representatives, he added, with the committee serving as enough to examine the reasons behind the rejection of Heikal’s statement.

The House of Representatives’ Media Committee condemned the falling profits of the Egyptian Company for Media Production City compared to its capital of LE two billion, while increasing the allowance for attending the meetings of the members of the Board of Directors of the company to LE6000, and raising the remuneration of the Chairman of the Board of Directors to LE20,000 and his salary to LE100,000.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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