Top News: Brotherhood Communicating with ElBaradei on Possible Leadership of Coalition Government


Sources close to the Muslim Brotherhood confirm communication between Mohammed Morsi and founder of the al-Dostour Party Mohamed El-Baradei in an effort to coordinate activities for the presidential elections and afterwards. The Morsi campaign denied any official offer for El-Braradei to lead a coalition government in exchange for his support in the runoff elections.


April 6 Youth Movement works to build national coalition against Shafiq

[Egypt Independent, English, 5/30/2012]

The April 6 Youth Movement called Wednesday on national players and presidential hopefuls who didn’t make the runoff to join a  coalition against the “counter-revolution” and prevent the Mubarak regime from being reproduced. The movement is holding meetings to form the coalition to block the revival of the collapsed regime through “rigged elections,” Ahmed Maher, a founder of the movement, said in a statement. Maher warned that any “dissent to consensus and the coalition will harm the entire country,” stressing that the Muslim Brotherhood has a great opportunity to show a sign of goodwill, but must partner with everybody. Maher said meetings between political powers and former presidential candidates would start Wednesday and continue until a coalition is formed. Movement media coordinator Engy Hamdy said the regime helped Shafiq win second place. She said there were many violations during the electoral process facilitated by former National Democratic Party and State Security members, as well as businessmen affiliated with Mubarak’s regime, to help Shafiq.

Egypt liberal coalition to announce presidential pledge document ensuring civil state

[Ahram Online, English, 5/30/2012]

Leftist and liberal political forces behind new coalition group The United Front, which includes former presidential hopefuls Amr Moussa and Khaled Ali, will announce Wednesday "The Document of The Pledge" detailing 12 actions to protect the revolution and ensure a civil state, that the upcoming president must vow to follow. The document will be presented to both presidential runoff candidates Mohamed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq.It states that the contenders should announce their presidential team, which must be made up of a number of vice presidents, before the run offs. It also demands that the upcoming president start negotiations to form a new coalition government that will include women, youth and Christians as well as being representative of all Egypt’s political forces. The name of the prime minister, the document added, must also be made public before the runoffs.


Parliament committee approves controversial political pardon bill

[Egypt Independent, English, 5/30/2012]

Political prisoners jailed under former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime are one step closer to freedom after Parliament’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee advanced a draft law Tuesday. The bill stipulates that people who committed crimes or misdemeanors or attempted to commit them to serve political ends between 1 January 1976 and 11 February 2011 should be granted blanket amnesty. Those who were indicted for assisting others in political crimes would also be pardoned. Lawyers Syndicate chief Sameh Ashour criticized the draft law last month and described it as a “political crime.” He said the law is a form of political opportunism used by some powers to free their members who may be imprisoned for legally just reasons. He described the draft law as an attempt to tailor laws to political purposes.

Foreign Ministry takes back agenda from intelligence, minister says

[Egypt Independent, English, 5/30/2012]

The Foreign Ministry has restored its authority over several issues that the intelligence services began taking care of under the rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said Tuesday. Egyptian intelligence handled Palestinian issues and relations with Nile Basin countries and Israel, among other affairs that had previously been in the ministry’s charge. The minister refused to disclose the ministry’s role in the recent diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia, saying the nature of diplomacy entails keeping its means private and adding that the ministry faced unreasonable criticism over the issue. Amr also discussed dialogues with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates regarding problems their investments face in Egypt.

Brotherhood sources confirm communications with El-Baradei; Morsi campaign denies

[Al Watan, Arabic, 5/30/2012]

Sources close to the Muslim Brotherhood confirm communication between Mohammed Morsi and founder of the al-Dostour Party Mohamed El-Baradei in an effort to coordinate activities for the presidential elections and afterwards. The Morsi campaign denied any official offer for El-Braradei to lead a coalition government in exchange for his support in the runoff elections.


BREAKING: Egypt top prosecutor charges Hosni Mubarak’s 2 sons with insider trading, refers them to trial

[Ahram Online, English, 5/30/2012; Al Masry Al Youm, Arabic, 5/30/2012]

The sons of Egypt’s deposed president Hosni Mubarak, Gamal and Alaa, as well as Hassan Heikal and Yasser El-Mallawany – both CEOs of Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes – along with 5 others, are to face a new trial for corrupt stock exchange dealings, state television reported on Wednesday. They were referred to Cairo’s criminal court on charges of illicit profiteering related to the sale of Al-Watany Bank of Egypt. The sale amounted to LE2.5 billion ($416 million).

Appeals court upholds three-year sentence for Coptic student defaming Islam

[Egypt Independent, English, 5/29/2012]

An Egyptian court on Tuesday upheld a three year sentence against a 16-year-old Christian student for posting a drawing on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohamed. The Assiut Court of Appeals said that it has found Gamal Abdu Massoud guilty of defaming religion, state-run news service MENA reported on Tuesday. According to Article 98(f) of the Penal Code, those convicted of defaming religion are subject to, “Confinement for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years…” Human rights activists say that this article poses a threat to freedom of expression.


Central Bank demands restructuring of energy subsidies

[Egypt Independent, English, 5/29/2012]

The deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt has called for the restructuring of energy subsidies, which are a LE100 million annual burden on the state budget. In a meeting with the Shura Council’s economic and financial committee on Monday, Governor Nedal al-Qassem said restoring security would attract foreign investments and hence provide essential resources to plug the budget deficit. The Cabinet also demanded that Parliament clarify its stance on reducing petroleum subsidies in the 2012-13 state budget, Al-Masry Al-Youm has learned. Should the subsidies remain as is, the budget is expected to exceed LE130 billion. The final decision will be left to the next president.


Egypt demands UK expedite return of assets, fugitives

[Egypt Independent, English, 5/30/2012]

Egypt has officially demanded that the UK expedite procedures for retrieving frozen Egyptian assets and extraditing fugitives, the BBC reported. An Egyptian delegation made the request during a recent round of talks in London between the two sides. Adel Fahmy, head of the delegation, said Egypt called on British authorities to start retrieving the assets and take serious measures against fugitives. The British government said it would return assets that Egyptian courts rule have been stolen. A government representative told BBC that the UK would cooperate with Egypt to achieve justice and rejuvenate its economy. He said returning the frozen assets would depend on British legal procedures.


Image: li-elbaradei-cp-00109369.jpg