Monday, March 8, 2021

Egyptian who dominated in favor of ceding key islands to Saudi Arabia voted parliament speaker

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Jan 17, 2021

CAIRO — Judge Hanafy Ali el-Gebaly, who validated a controversial 2016 settlement handing two islands to Saudi Arabia, was elected speaker of the House of Representatives of the brand new Egyptian parliament Jan. 12.

Gebaly, the previous head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, had gained an unbiased seat in October’s parliamentary elections. The Nation’s Future Party, identified for its assist of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and which holds holds 55% of the seats within the parliament, supplied Gebaly the backing he wanted to imagine the publish.

This raised the ire of opposition politicians inside and outdoors Egypt as a result of Gebaly was one of many judges who had permitted a maritime border settlement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia beneath which Cairo agreed to cede the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the dominion. 

In April 2016, Sisi signed an settlement to switch possession of Tiran and Sanafir. Despite a wave of objections and protests towards the choice, the Egyptian authorities went forward with it.

In January 2017, after months of courtroom hearings, the High Administrative Court, the very best administrative authority in Egypt, dominated to nullify the settlement. The choice mentioned the 2 islands have been Egyptian. 

But the federal government appealed the ruling to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The Supreme Constitutional Court, headed by Gebaly, determined in March 2018 to void the High Administrative Court’s ruling and to proceed with the Saudi-Egyptian maritime border settlement, ceding the 2 islands to Saudi Arabia. Gebaly mentioned on the time that signing the settlement and ceding the 2 islands “was part of the state’s sovereign decisions. The judiciary does not have the authority to endorse or nullify the decision.” He mentioned the High Administrative Court’s ruling undermined the manager authority represented by the president.

Adel Rashed, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s govt workplace who has been in self-exile in Turkey for greater than six years, mentioned Gebaly was elected speaker “to honor him for closing the judicial file regarding the Tiran and Sanafir islands, and to praise his shameful ruling of canceling any provisions related to the Egyptian ownership of the two islands and participating in ceding them to the kingdom.”

He informed Al-Monitor by a web based video communication service, “Sisi’s regime is sending a message to everyone that whoever is on his side and rules in his favor will be rewarded and put in the highest positions.”

Rashed added, “Shame will continue to haunt Sisi’s regime and Gebaly, and whoever contributed to ceding the two islands to Saudi Arabia. The day will come when Gebaly and whoever was complicit in selling the two islands will be punished, rather than rewarded.”

Issam Hilal, secretary-general of the Nation’s Future Party and a member of the Senate, informed Al-Monitor, “We decided to endorse Gebaly [for speaker] because of his rich judicial history.”

Hilal refused to reply the query about any hyperlink between supporting Gebaly and his ruling in favor of the settlement to cede management of Tiran and Sanafir. He mentioned, “I don’t have an answer to allegations that endorsing him to be speaker of parliament was a reward for his ruling. The judiciary in Egypt is decent and independent and does not need rewards to do the right thing. Nobody can doubt the transparency of an Egyptian judge or court.”

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