MP accused of ‘insulting’ Tantawi to apologize on Monday

Ashraf Thabet, deputy speaker of the People's Assembly, has said that some MPs have managed to convince MP Ziad al-Elaimy to apologize for his “insults” against Egypt’s de facto leader Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

Thabet told Al-Hayat satellite channel on Sunday evening that he spoke with Elaimy and convinced him to make a public apology in the assembly on Monday.

Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatny decided on Sunday to refer Elaimy to internal parliamentary investigation over the latter’s alleged insults against Tantawi.

While speaking in Port Said on Friday, Elaimy accused Tantawi of being responsible for killing Egyptians.

Elaimy used a famous Egyptian proverb: “He 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.

Elaimy said, “Tantawi is the donkey,” meaning that he is responsible for the deaths of Egyptians in recent incidents.

On 1 February, over 70 soccer fans were killed after a match in Port Said when fans of the home team stormed the field and attacked fans of the Cairo-based Ahly team. Security forces have been blamed for not taking measures to prevent or halt the violence. Some revolutionary forces held Egypt’s military rulers responsible for the bloodshed.

In Sunday’s session, Katatny asked Elaimy to apologize for his comments about the military ruler.

“I have received calls from people from all over Egypt criticizing Elaimy’s statements; it is now a case of public opinion. Some 52 members of Parliament consider the statements an insult to them and to Parliament. I hope you get the courage to apologize,” said Katatny.

However, Elaimy refused to apologize, saying that he had not insulted Tantawi but had held him responsible for “crimes he committed against Egyptians.”

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