MPs on Sunday approved President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s decision in March to appoint former prosecutor Hesham Badawi as new chairman of the Central Auditing Agency, the country’s top corruption watchdog, after previous chairman Hisham Geneina was fired and charged with spreading "false news".
Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al told MPs that in accordance with Article 216 of the constitution, the president of the republic can name the chairmen of the country’s watchdog institutions only upon the approval of the majority of parliamentary deputies.
“As you all know, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued decree no.232 on 21 March, deciding that Hesham Geneina, chairman of the Central Auditing Agency be fired from his position, and in order for this decree to be effective it should gain the approval of the majority of MPs,” Abdel-Al said.
A total of 329 MPs voted in favour of appointing Badawi as the country’s new top auditor.
“As you see, the approval of 329 MPs meets the requirement stipulated by Article 216 of the constitution and as a result I officially announce that former prosecutor Hesham Badawi has become the new chairman of the Central Auditing Agency,” said Abdel-Al.
Abdel-Al said Badawi has a proven record of outstanding performance in prosecution and watchdog institutions.
“After he graduated from Cairo University’s faculty of law [in the 1970s], Badawi was appointed as a prosecutor,” said Abdel-Al, adding that “because of his remarkable performance, Badawi was promoted several times until he became top prosecutor of the state security prosecution court and then chairman of Cairo’s Appeal Court.”
“Badawi was also appointed chairman of the anti-corruption authority and then deputy chairman of the Central Auditing Agency,” said Abdel-Al, adding that “as you see Badawi is a very good choice to be the country’s new top auditor.”
Geneina was removed from office in March befoe prosecution referred him to trial on charges of announcing false figures about the value of corruption in Egypt for political reasons.
Geneina said last December in a press interview that corruption in public institutions between 2010 and 2015 has cost Egypt as much as EGP 600 billion.
Geneina's statement sparked a backlash from MPs, who accused him of both trying his best to tarnish the government of President El-Sisi as well as allegiance to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.