Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anwar Al-Balkimy, Egyptian Lawmaker, Resigns Following Nose Job Scandal

"Egypt's conservative Al-Nour party announced Monday that it has expelled one of its members of parliament, Anwar al-Balkimy, after discovering that the lawmaker fabricated a story about getting beaten up by a masked gunman in order to cover up a recent nose job, The New York Times reports.

The lie was discovered after Al-Nour party members decided to travel to the hospital where al-Balkimy was recovering from facial injuries and investigate his claim that he was assaulted and mugged by unidentifiable carjackers, according to a statement released by the party on Monday.

"Based on what the hospital officials said, we decided to expel him from the party, and so he submitted his resignation," al-Nour party spokesman Nader Bakar was quoted as saying on the group's official Facebook page. "We are trying to bring forth a new set of social values in politics based on Islamic principles. He may be suffering from an emotional disorder."

A number of Egyptian media outlets have reported that al-Balkimy checked into a Cairo hospital on Feb. 28 in order to undergo a rhinoplasty procedure and then checked into a second hospital the next day, telling doctors that his bandaged face was the result of an attempted carjacking on the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway.

While he was checked in to the second hospital, he received a flood of visitors including the head of a rival party, the AP reports.

In the meantime, Al Arabiya published a photo of al-Balkimy with his face heavily bandaged, which quickly spread across news outlets.
The revelation that al-Balkimy lied was highly embarrassing for a party which espouses ultra-conservative beliefs, according to The New York Times. It's also an early hit to Egypt's burgeoning electoral democracy, which had its first meeting of parliament just 40 days ago........"

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