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.
Though al-Balkimy has apologized for the incident, he could face prison time if convicted on charges related to filing a false report, including "creating anxiety among the public" and "worrying public officials," according to Al Jazeera.
Photo courtesy of Al Arabiya News.