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Parliamentary committee comments on Media Syndicate’s head resignation

Osama Heikal, head of Parliament’s Culture, Media and Antiquities committee, said that the committee fully respects former Head of Egypt’s Media Syndicate Hamdi al-Konaisi, affirming that the committee is not responsible for his resignation.
Konaisi sent his resignation letter to the Egyptian president on Tuesday,Dec. 25 after the parliamentary committee rejected a request to amend some articles of the syndicate’s law, which in fact, prevents him and other members of the current board to run in the first election of the syndicate.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Heikal said the law cannot be amended for the interest of an individual, adding that the committee believed that amending the law preventing leaders of the establishing board to be re-nominated in the first election is unconstitutional. He also affirmed the committee’s decision was general and did not mean to address a certain person.

Heikal added that the current legislation gives other people than the temporary establishing board members a chance to serve the syndicate.

In a statement signed by Mahmoud Fawzy, advisor to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, it was affirmed that the articles of the syndicate’s law do not violate the Constitution

The last paragraph of the second article of the Media Syndicate’s law organizes the right to run for the membership of the syndicate, and does not prohibit it, the statement read, adding that the members of the concerned current board took their posts after the law was issued, which means that they already agreed not to run in the first coming election for the syndicate’s board.

Announcing his resignation, Konaisi said in a statement that he was shocked as it was rejected to amend the articles of the law organizing the establishment of the Media Syndicate without consulting the House’s Legislative Committee.

Slamming accusations of seeking personal interests, Konaisi said that he accepted the post despite knowing about the articles of the law preventing his candidacy for the first election to be held for the board of directors.

He pointed out that requests to “save” the syndicate’s law from six articles that contradict with the law and the Constitution were issued by a number of MPs, who stressed the need to review these articles, adding that Egypt’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Magdi al-Agati also rejected the articles.

MP Jaleela Othman, deputy head of the Culture, Media and Antiquities Committee, told Masrawy that Konaisi attempted to circumvent amending the syndicate’s law to stay in office and to get re-nominated as the chairman of the syndicate.

In January 2017, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a law establishing a syndicate for audio-visual media personnel, following the Parliament’s approval. The Media Syndicate is responsible for regulating audio-visual media practices, defending its members, and punishing violators.

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