Egypt lawmaker says his expulsion is warning to opposition

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An Egyptian lawmaker who was one of the few dissenting voices in parliament said Tuesday his expulsion over accusations of leaking a draft law to foreign embassies was a warning to the opposition.

Mohamed Anwar Sadat, a nephew of the assassinated president Anwar Sadat, was expelled in a vote on Monday for allegedly leaking the draft of a controversial NGO law to foreign embassies.

The frequent critic of the government and parliament, which is dominated by supporters of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was also accused of forging MPs’ signatures on a bill he had presented.

Sadat denied both accusations to AFP on Tuesday, saying they were “false.”

“I was not surprised because I have expressed many reservations about what parliament does and its compliance with the constitution and the law,” he said.

“As we see, many people are not content with the status of democracy in Egypt,” he said.

His expulsion was “a message to those inside and outside parliament: ‘No one is dear to us’,” he added.

Elected in 2015, parliament has been accused by critics of acting as a rubber stamp for Sisi, the former army chief who toppled his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi’s overthrow in 2013 ushered in a deadly crackdown on his supporters that killed hundreds of protesters and left thousands in prison.

Sadat had chaired parliament’s human rights committee before resigning in protest at what he called its ineffectiveness.

He had heated disputes with parliament speaker Ali Abdel Al, who once shouted down Sadat when he inquired about military pensions for officers who went on to lead industry and state institutions.

He comes from a prominent political family, having been named after his uncle Anwar Sadat, whom militants assassinated in 1981 after he signed a peace treaty with Israel.