Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi held a meeting on Monday night with members of parliament. The meeting is the second in two months, following a previous one held in May.
Member of parliament Elhamy Agina said the meeting was held following an invitation extended by the minister. “It was more of a friendly convention with the purpose of bringing the points of view of the ministry and MPs closer,” Agina told Daily News Egypt on Tuesday.
The invitation was reportedly addressed to nearly 400 parliament members, but not all attended, according to Agina. “The minister asserted the role of the army in supporting the country’s economic development through projects alongside the civil sector, and in facing threats from terrorist entities and some foreign states,” Agina added.
Moreover, Agina said the minister “thanked MPs for their supporting stance inside the parliament”. The meeting followed a parliamentary approval of a 10% increase in pensions for military personnel.
According to local newspaper Al-Shorouk, MPs expressed their approval of the standard pension increase by standing up, making pro-army statements, and applauding, instead of submitting their votes electronically, as per procedures.
The newspaper added that MP Anwar Sadat, head of the Human Rights Committee, was criticised for objecting to the provision of retirement pensions for those who hold senior positions in the public and private sectors. Parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal reportedly “forbade Sadat from talking”.
Sadat was unavailable for immediate comment, but some MPs have repeatedly stated in the media that there was “no room for objections” inside parliament. Among those were MPs Haitham Al-Hariri and Samir Ghattas.