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October 27, 2011
Tantawi

Following the appearance of hundreds of posters supporting the presidential candidacy of Field Marshal Tantawi, an anonymous military official close to the SCAF insisted that the military council had “nothing at all to do with this campaign" and claimed that "we are committed to handing power over to civilians." As Islamist parties continue to expand their influence, amember of the Salafi Nour Party, Abdel Moneim al-Shahat, said that voting for Islamist candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections “is a religious obligation." Meanwhile, in an escalation of the SCAF's crackdown on NGOs, the Cairo Court of Appeals agreed to investigate alleged secret bank accounts and companies providing funds to 75 Egyptian and international civil society groups in addition to 40 private individuals.

SCAF:

Following the appearance of hundreds of posters supporting the presidential candidacy of Field Marshal Tantawi, an anonymous military official close to the SCAF insisted that the military council had “nothing at all to do with this campaign.” “We are committed to handing power over to civilians,” the source told al-Ahram. [DPA, English, 10/27/2011]

PRESS SYNDICATE:

The press syndicate elected six new members to its board, including a new chairman, Mamdouh El-Waly, who has denied reports of an affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.  Turnout was high in what was considered the syndicate’s first free and fair election in many years. [Al-Ahram, English, 10/27/2011] [Al-Masry al-Youm, English, 10/27/2011]

ELECTIONS:

A member of the Salafi Nour Party, Abdel Moneim al-Shahat, said that voting for Islamist candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections “is a religious obligation” because these candidates are committed to implementing Sharia law. [Al-Masry al-Youm, English, 10/27/2011]

NGO INVESTIGATIONS:

The Cairo Court of Appeals agreed to implement a request from the Ministry of Justice to investigate alleged secret bank accounts and companies providing funds to 75 Egyptian and international civil society groups in addition to 40 private individuals. Preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Justice indicate that civil society groups and individual activists have received at least LE 1 million in funding from foreign and other Arab countries over the past six months. [Al-Dostor, Arabic, 10/27/2011]

ECONOMY:

New data from the IMF indicates that transitioning Arab states are experiencing an economic downturn. Athough the energy-rich Gulf states – largely insulated from popular protests – are enjoyeing the windfalls of increased oil revenues, the IMF predicts that Egypt’s growth rate will plummet this year. The gross domestic product of Egypt is estimated to grow by 1.2 percent in 2011, compared to 5.1 percent in 2010.  [The Daily News Egypt, English, 10/27/2011]

Announcing plans to start “full investments” in Egypt by early next year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) stressed the urgency for restoring a civilian government in Egypt. “We absolutely want to be doing business with a civil[ian] government that will take this country on the path of democracy,” an EBRD spokesman said in Cairo, where EBRD officials met with civil society leaders, members of youth coalitions and the April 6 Youth Movement. [The Daily News Egypt, English, 10/26/2011]

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