Investigation into MP accused of ‘insulting’ Tantawi adjourned to Monday

The Parliament’s ethics committee has adjourned the investigation into MP Zyad Elelaimy, accused of insulting Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Salafi preacher Mohamed Hassan, until Monday, state TV reported on Saturday.

Last month during a rally in Port Said, Elelaimy accused Tantawi of being responsible for killing Egyptians.

Elelaimy used a famous Egyptian proverb, “They couldn't beat the donkey so they beat the saddle,” meaning that if the main source of a problem cannot be confronted others will be found to take the blame.

“Tantawi is the donkey,” Elelaimy explained, implying that the country's de facto ruler is responsible for the deaths of citizens in recent violent incidents.

The remark caused anger in pro-military circles and Parliamentary Speaker Saad al-Katatny referred Elelaimy to the People’s Assembly office, which regulates the entire assembly.

Elelaimy, who is affiliated with the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, is one of the few revolutionary youths who managed to win a seat in the Islamists-dominated parliament.

Elelaimy said he would consult the Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo to determine whether the proverb he used should be interpreted as an insult.

Last week the academy responded by saying that Elelaimy's use of a popular proverb should not be construed as slander.

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