MP Zyad Elelaimy, who was referred to Parliament’s ethics committee on charges of insulting Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Salafi preacher Mohamed Hassan, asked the committee to drop the whole matter. “It was an allegory I used as a figure of speech,” he said.
Elelaimy, as reported by state news service MENA, said during the investigation that he would consult the Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo to determine whether the popular proverb he used should be interpreted as an insult.
Earlier this month during a rally in Port Said, Elelaimy accused Tantawi of being responsible for killing Egyptians.
Elelaimy 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.
“Tantawi is the donkey,” Elelaimy said, meaning that he is responsible for the deaths of Egyptians in recent incidents.
However, the statements caused anger within pro-military circles, and Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatny decided to refer Elelaimy to the People’s Assembly office, which regulates the entire assembly.
The assembly office on Sunday decided to refer Elelaimy to the Ethics Committee, which monitors MPs’ behavior and can take disciplinary measures against an MP.
MENA quoted Elelaimy on Sunday as saying that he is willing to take responsibility for what he said.