FJP vows to investigate alleged nepotism incident

The Freedom and Justice Party will investigate allegations that the son of an FJP parliamentary leader was appointed to government position because of his father’s influence, the party’s Gharbiya branch said in a Wednesday statement.

A copy of what appears to be an official letter recommending Osama al-Sayed Askar for employment at the Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO) went viral on social networking websites Wednesday.

Ahmed Mohamed al-Wetaidy, the first undersecretary of the Petroleum Ministry, allegedly sent the letter to Mohamed Magdy Tawfiq, the GASCO chairman.

“Please, kindly take the necessary measures to appoint Mr. Osama al-Sayed Askar, one of the former employees of the Petro Trade Company, to your esteemed company. Kindly take necessary measures, as it is an urgent topic,” reads the document.

Askar, the son of FJP MP Sayed Askar, who heads the Parliament’s Religious, Social and Religious Endowments Committee, was sacked from the Petro Trade Company in 2008 upon orders from the now-disbanded State Security Investigation Services. Prior to the uprising, National Democratic Party members were often concerned that members of political opposition groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, were serving in government posts.

The younger Askar confirmed to Al-Masry Al-Youm on Wednesday the account of his firing. After the judiciary could not resolve the matter, the Petroleum Ministry contacted him to settle it amiably away from the courts. The ministry offered to get him his job back if he agreed to forgo the LE120,000 he was owed in employee benefits, he said.

Askar denied that his father or the FJP had anything to do with his appointment at GASCO, where he currently works.

Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab told Al-Masry Al-Youm Thursday that he issued a decision last June to restore jobs to all employees who had been dismissed from their jobs for political reasons and without legal justification.

This decision made no exceptions and included the younger Askar, Ghorab said. Abdullah said he received a complaint from Askar four months ago, which underwent an investigation that eventually proved there was no reason to fire him. He was subsequently included in the June decision.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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