Egypt’s newly-elected House of Representatives has voted to temporarily ban the live streaming of its sessions.
The proposal, which was submitted by 40 members of parliament. was approved by a majority and passed by parliamentary speaker Ali Abdel-Al.
“This live airing gave comfort to some MPs, who think they have a monopoly on ideas, to put on show their false interpretations of bylaws,” the parliament’s speaker Ali Abdel-Al said according to Al-Ahram.
The decision has been criticized by some as an infringement on constitutional principles of transparency and accountability. Some members of parliament, including head of Al-Wafd party Al-Sayyed Al-Badawy, said that the decision may infringe on people’s right to monitor parliamentary sessions.
However, others supported the decision because of the recent ‘grandstanding’ by some members of parliament.
Egypt’s new parliament has opened with chaotic scenes, including arguments, mistaken oaths, and deep divisions. Already, one parliamentarian, Kamal Ahmed, resigned in protest at how the parliament has been operating.
The new parliament, with 448 independent seats, 120 party-based seats and 28 presidential appointees, is Egypt’s largest parliament to date and the first in four years. This is Egypt’s third parliament to be elected since the January 25 revolution in 2011 and marks the final stage of the ‘June 30 road map to democracy’ which was implemented after the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.