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December 12, 2011
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The SCAF’s newly appointed advisory council issued its first statement on December 11 and affirmed that only the parliament has the right to select the members of a committee that will draft the new constitution. SCAF member Major General Mukhtar al-Mullah suggested last week that the advisory council would provide input on the committee’s members.

1) Ongoing labor protests outside of the Planning Ministry have forced the Prime Minister Ganzouri’s cabinet to relocate from its temporary office in the planning Ministry to the Investment Ministry. Workers from the Damietta-based fertilizer factory MOPCO have been staging a protest outside of the Planning Ministry to demand that the factory be reopened. [al-Ahram, English, 12/12/2011]

2) Field Marshal Tantawi paid a visit to Tahrir Square on December 12 with the purported aim of ensuring the flow of traffic around the square. Hundreds of protesters are still camped out in the area next to the administrative Mogamaa building, where they are demanding a transfer of power to civilian leaders. [al-Ahram, English, 12/12/2011]

ADVISORY COUNCIL:

3) The SCAF issued a statement on December 12 insisting that the advisory council’s mandate will be limited to expressing opinions and consulting on national affairs, and its role will end with the election of a new president. [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/12/2011]

4) The SCAF’s newly appointed advisory council issued its first statement on December 11 and affirmed that only the parliament has the right to select the members of a committee that will draft the new constitution. SCAF member Major General Mukhtar al-Mullah suggested last week that the advisory council would provide input on the committee’s members. [al-Ahram, English, 12/12/2011]

ISLAMISTS:

5) The Salafi Nour party will seek to enforce a ban on beach tourism and serving alcohol to Egyptians and foreign nationals, according to the party’s spokesman, Nader Bakar, who also said that the party plans to establish a chain of hotels in compliance with Islamic Law. [al-Ahram, English, 12/12/2011]

6) The Brotherhood is developing a “renaissance project” that will include short-, mid- and long-term visions for reforming administrative structures, the educational and healthcare systems and revitalizing the economy. Deputy General Guide Khairat al-Shater, who is spearheading the project, said that the Brotherhood is consulting with advisors from Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa and Singapore. [al-Masry al-Youm, English, 12/12/2011]

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION:

7) An independent campaign supporting the presidential candidacy of Field Marshal Tantawi has been collecting signatures in several provinces and in Cairo’s Ramses Square. [al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 12/12/2011]

U.S. POLICY:

8) Senator John Kerry expressed support for the SCAF’s role in “protecting” the transition and called attention to the deteriorating economy, saying, “There is a need for an infusion of cash into the Egyptian governing process.” Kerry also visited the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party headquarters and met with the party’s leaders, who assured him that the party will respect Egypt’s international treaties and would not seek major changes to the constitution or investment laws.   [The Daily News Egypt, English, 12/12/2011] [al-Ahram, English, 12/12/2011]

NGO FUNDING:

9) A fact-finding commission appointed by the Justice Ministry to investigate the financing of Egyptian NGOs reported that over 300 civil society organizations have received foreign funding over the past six years. The commission was tasked with investigating NGOs that may have received funding through illegal channels or are operating without the required licenses. The ministry is examining all sources of foreign funding, not just the United States. [al-Masry al-Youm, English, 12/12/2011]

ECONOMY:

10) Egypt’s stock index dropped the most in nearly three weeks after Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri stated that austerity measures may be required to reverse the economic slowdown. [Bloomberg, English, 12/12/2011]

11) The Egyptian pound fell to its lowest level in nearly seven years, as the central bank appears to be allowing the currency to weaken gradually since it broke the 6 pound to the dollar barrier at the end of November. [Reuters, English, 12/12/2011]

Photo Credit: Reuters

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