A coalition of independent judges in Egypt said on Wednesday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Mursi has won the presidential election, beating former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, according to their tally.


Egypt poll commission to review 400 appeals before announcing results Thursday

[Ahram Online, Al Ahram (Arabic), 6/20/2012] SPEC head Farouq Sultan announced on Tuesday that the commission had received almost 400 appeals to the preliminary runoff results. Sultan added that the SPEC could not announce final results until it had finished reviewing all the appeals. On the same day, the Shafiq campaign announced that it had presented 147 appeals to the SPEC, claiming that, were the appeals accepted, their candidate would win the presidential contest. The Mursi campaign, meanwhile, announced on Tuesday that it, too, had presented more than 140 appeals to the SPEC, 100 of which the commission had already accepted. 

Union of Egyptian judges announces Mursi as winner of presidential election

[Al Arabiya, 6/20/2012] A coalition of independent judges in Egypt said on Wednesday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Mursi has won the presidential election, beating former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, according to their tally. The group, named “Judges for Egypt,” said Mursi had won with 13.2 million votes while Shafiq had amassed 12. 3 million. The union of reformist judges chose to independently monitor the elections process in Egypt. The numbers were similar to the results announced by Mursi’s campaign on Wednesday. Head of the group and former head of the judges’ union, Zakaria Abdel-Aziz, said that the difference in results is too big for any submitted appeals to affect the final outcome which is in favor of Mursi. 

Election’s political context flawed, say monitors

[Egypt Independent, 6/20/2012] International and local elections observers have condemned the political and legal context of the second round of Egypt’s presidential election while  raising minor concerns about fraud and irregularities. The monitors also complained that the Presidential Elections Commission’s opacity violated the monitoring mandate. Some decisions made by the ruling military junta, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, ahead of and during the elections raised serious concerns about whether it would hand over power to an elected civilian government, as promised, by the end of June, observers said. The Carter Center was one of three main international elections monitors accredited to oversee the process, in addition to  the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa and the Elections Network in the Arab World. The Carter Center has said it will not participate in future elections monitoring under these circumstances. 


Brotherhood, FJP consider potential government members

[Egypt Independent, 6/20/2012] Official sources with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party said Tuesday that the leaders of the party and the group are preparing a list of figures outside the Brotherhood to include in the new government. According to the sources, prominent figures being considered are: Ahmed Maher from the April 6 Youth Movement, activist Wael Ghonim, Salafi Nour Party spokesperson Nader Bakkar, certain members of the Hamdeen Sabbahi presidential campaign, former Independent MP Amr Hamzawy, Cairo University Professor Moataz Abdel Fattah and attorney Noha al-Zeiny. 


Islamist parties to go to State Council over Parliament dissolution

[Egypt Independent, 6/20/2012] Islamist parties have decided to file a case against the ruling military council and the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court following its decision to dissolve Parliament. The parties argue that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the court do not have the authority to dissolve Parliament. The State Council would hear the case. The Freedom and Justice Party’s parliamentary bloc threatened to make the case international. The FJP executive bureau met two days ago to discuss ways to solve the problem, and met with members of other parties in Parliament to express a unified stance toward the issue. 

Court postpones cases over decree giving military right to make arrests

[Egypt Independent, 6/20/2012] A court postponed Tuesday its consideration of five cases filed against the justice minister that demand he cancel a decree granting the military broad authority to arrest civilians without permission from judicial authorities. The State Council Administrative Court decided to postpone hearing the cases to 26 June, the state TV website said. The cases, filed by activists, rely on the fact that the justice minister issued the decree as an administrative authority, not a judicial or legislative body, which they believe entitles them to challenge the order. The activists say it violates freedoms protected in the Constitutional Declaration, as well as the separate roles of the military judiciary and civil police forces. 


Egypt army deployed near Cairo

[Ahram Online, 6/20/2012] There has been a noticeable build up of military vehicles near Cairo for the first time since the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, according to eyewitnesses. Military vehicles have been noticed on the Cairo-Alexandria Agricultural Road near where the Circular Road enters the capital. Tanks and armored vehicles were spotted on the highway around 5km from Qaliub moving towards Cairo. Soldiers refused to tell onlookers what was happening and told them not to get too close to the vehicles. The military is congregating at the location where it was used to prevent cars entering the capital during the early days of the 2011 uprising. 

Egypt claims seizure of 101 surface-to-surface missiles amid fears of violence

[Al Arabiya, 6/20/2012] The Egyptian authorities have seized 101 surface-to-surface missiles in the Beheira governorate, the state TV reported on Tuesday, amid fears of a political deadlock that could trigger an armed confrontation between Islamist groups and a military establishment reluctant to relinquish power. The state television said Egypt’s Anti-Drug General Administration discovered the missiles, a launching pad, and dozens of hand guns loaded in two cars. The suspects were detained and an investigation has been launched, the television added. Sameh Rashed, political analyst of Al-Ahram Institute, told Al Arabiya that security forces occasionally seize arms shipments smuggled from Libya or other countries and destined to the Gaza Strip or Sinai. 


Tahrir protesters react to reports of Mubarak ‘clinical death’

[Ahram Online, 6/20/2012] Cheers erupted and fireworks were let off as reports that toppled president Hosni Mubarak was pronounced "clinically dead" trickled into Tahrir Square. The celebrations quickly fizzled out when banned presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail took to the stage to tell people to quiet down as it’s a lie. "The military just wanted to make big news that would eclipse the Tahrir protests about the ruling military council, the elections and the amended constitution," Mohammed Tarek, 27, an interior designer said, "It worked; the media suddenly started talking about Mubarak, and people started to leave the square." Mursi-supporter Samir Amin Ibrahim, 30, said the news of Mubarak’s "death" worried him as he felt it was part of a military-organised plan. 


Egypt intervenes to end Hamas-Israel tensions in Gaza

[Egypt Independent, Al Ahram (Arabic), 6/20/2012] Egypt’s ambassador to the West Bank said Wednesday his country is making strenuous efforts to restore calm to the Gaza Strip, seeking to end Israeli assaults on the Palestinian enclave and to stop Palestinian responses to the attacks. Egypt’s main aim is to ensure Palestinians’ safety and prevent the situation from deteriorating further, Yasser Othman told state-run news agency MENA. The Israeli army said Wednesday its aircrafts had carried out seven air raids on the strip late Tuesday in response to 50 rockets fired on Israel from southern Gaza.