Exodus from Egyptian parliament

Seventeen members of the Egyptian assembly have lost their seats in the past week in a series of scandals and embarrassments.

    President Mubarak's party has lost 17 deputies in the past week

    Two deputies resigned on Thursday over their failure to perform military service while a third was sacked on corruption charges.

    Those departures followed a drama on Sunday, when 11 members of parliament resigned after being threatened with expulsion.

    It emerged they had dodged military service, which is obligatory for parliamentarians.

    Three more deputies followed suit soon after.

    Court case

    All 17 are members of President Husni Mubarak's National Democratic Party which holds 410 of the parliament's 454 seats.

    Their exodus was triggered by a court case filed by an ordinary Egyptian against a member of parliament, accusing him of having avoided military service.

    An inquiry was ordered, exposing several other deputies.

    Amid all the resignations, the parliament also voted to expel a member on corruption charges. The disgraced deputy has also received a 10-year jail term.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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