Members of the Engineer’s Syndicate made a vote of no confidence on Friday against the syndicate’s board and its Muslim Brotherhood affiliated leader, Maged Khelousy.
The vote, which was held in a pavilion in the garage of Cairo Stadium, resulted in 8,887 for the motion and 6,835 against – a 56% victory.
“The vote was strictly for political reasons,” said Engineer Sherif Hany, a faculty member at the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University and a founding member of the Revolutionary Front. “The engineers’ votes were driven by their sentiments towards the Muslim Brotherhood.”
According to independent group Marsad (Observatory for Syndicate Independence), several violations made by the syndicate’s board were spotted in a statement that was released on 30 December. Among these were the illegal involvement of the syndicate’s board in political conflicts and the lack of transparency over the syndicate’s budget.
The conflict started when a group calling themselves Tamarod Egypt’s Engineers asked that the head of the syndicate call for a general assembly in August 2013, and the request was ignored.
The group filed a complaint to the Minister of Agriculture, the next authority up the chain of command from the head of the syndicate. The minister then ordered the formation of an eight-person committee who would be responsible for the organisation of the general assembly, to be held on 17 January, to decide on the potential vote of no-confidence.
Marsad, which undertook the responsibility of monitoring the vote, also spotted several legal violations in the vote itself. Such infractions included: judges being late for the polls and leaving them several times, boxes only being sealed in the middle of the day, an absence of phosphorous ink used in voting, and failure to identify members of the organising committee.
Amer Sabry, deputy secretary general of the former syndicate’s board, said the board would appeal the results. Sabry labelled the conflict as “political and financial”. He also lamented the interference of the executive power in the work of the syndicate and highlighted that the syndicate’s bylaw provides a legal means for accountability, instead of resorting to the vote of no confidence.