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The draft constitution as it is currently written gives citizens “license to discipline” each other according to Amr Moussa. The former Arab League secretary general made the criticism at the Constituent Assembly’s Monday meeting, at which it approved 14 constitutional articles in the basic principles of state section and referred them to the drafting committee for finalisation. 


Cabinet reshuffle mulled, says newspaper
News reports said Tuesday that a limited Cabinet reshuffle is being mulled in light of the failure of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to resolve several issues. The state-run daily Al-Gomhurriya reported that the reshuffle is being considered after the Shura Council and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) had slammed the Cabinet, holding it responsible for the failure of President Mohamed Morsy’s project to quickly solve citizens’ problems. Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Yasser Ali denied reports that the FJP asked President Mohamed Morsi to carry out the reshuffle. [Egypt Independent, SIS, 11/13/2012]

Ministry of Interior reshuffled
The largest reshuffle of the Ministry of Interior in years was made on Monday, the state news agency MENA reported. Karim Ennarah researcher in the general justice unit at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) dismissed the reshuffling as a cosmetic change. “The reshuffling is irrelevant as far as reforms go,” he said, adding that the ministry reshuffle has not been done with any intention of reform. Ennarah pointed to Major General Ghoraba’s promotion to assistant secretary for the social security sector as an example. “The fact that he has been allowed to keep his position and receive a promotion is a reminder that the ministry is run as an independent organisation without the faintest shadows of reform.” [Daily News Egypt, SIS, Ahram Online, 11/12/2012]

FJP drafts amendment to Israel peace treaty for Morsy, Parliament to review
A Freedom and Justice Party figure said Tuesday that the party’s legal committee is working on a new draft law to amend the 1979 peace treaty signed with Israel. It will be sent to President Mohamed Morsy, so he and the next Parliament can review it. The draft law intends to amend the treaty so the Egyptian Armed Forces can gain full control over the Sinai Peninsula, especially areas in which the military cannot deploy freely. [Egypt Independent, 11/13/2012]

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Constituent Assembly finalises 14 articles
The draft constitution as it is currently written gives citizens “license to discipline” each other according to Amr Moussa. The former Arab League secretary general made the criticism at the Constituent Assembly’s Monday meeting, at which it approved 14 constitutional articles in the basic principles of state section and referred them to the drafting committee for finalisation. The assembly is set to discuss and vote on the remaining 14 articles of the section on Tuesday afternoon in the second of a series of sessions designed to complete the constitution draft by the 19 November deadline. [Daily News Egypt, 11/13/2012]

NGOs reject draft constitution
Around 220 NGOs have joined forces in the “Civil Par Excellence” campaign, which rejects the constitution and calls for the removal of restrictions on civil society. The campaign wants the regime to declare Egypt as a civil state, accommodating all cultures, religions, and races. They think the concept of citizenship should be the basis for obtaining rights and freedoms in the constitution. Nayel said the issue with the constitution is much larger than the use of the word Shari’a (Islamic law), the constitution is not representative of the people. [Daily News Egypt, 11/12/2012]

Judges’ Club upholds decision to boycott referendum
Egypt’s judges will boycott monitoring the constitutional referendum and go on an open-ended strike unless their demands for the draft are met. Members voted to boycott the referendum if the assembly does not allow the club’s board and the Supreme Council of the Judiciary to draft the section themselves. At a meeting, members of Egypt’s Judges Club presented Constituent Assembly members with their recommendations for the constitution. Judges tabled ten amendments to the draft articles related to the judiciary with the stated aim of ensuring judicial independence. The Judges Club, headed by Judge Ahmed El-Zend, also suggested that four articles of the draft charter be done away with. [Daily News Egypt, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online 11/12/2012]

Defence ministry rejects draft constitution
The Ministry of Defence sent its formal rejection of the constitution draft to the Constituent Assembly on Sunday, noting specifically its opposition to an article banning military trials for civilians. The ministry’s rejection, a memo signed by Chief of Military Justice Major General Medhat Ghazy, stated two reasons the ministry was opposed to the clause “no civilian may be tried before a military court” in the constitution. The phrase, which is part of Article 62 in the freedoms section of the constitution, is redundant, argued Ghazy. He said the System of Governance Committee in the assembly initially drafted a similar clause in the section on the judiciary that read, “no civilian may be tried before a military court except in matters specified by the law.” The clause Ghazy refers to has since been removed from the draft. All articles on the military judiciary have been moved from the judiciary section of the draft to the section on the military, another reason the Ministry of Defence rejects the constitution draft. [Daily News Egypt, Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic) 11/12/2012]

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Egypt sees initial IMF deal this week: minister
The Egyptian government expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan before an IMF negotiating team leaves Cairo on Wednesday, Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said said. The government also plans to eliminate its subsidy on 95 octane gasoline effective as of Wednesday or Thursday, he said, a move that suggests the government wants to show it is taking active steps to close the deal. [Reuters, Ahram Online 11/12/2012]

Government plans new deficit-reduction steps
Egypt’s government has proposed tax changes and reducing energy subsidies to cut a budget deficit running at about 11 percent of gross domestic product, Egyptian newspapers reported. The austerity steps, certain to be unpopular, are part of an economic program drawn up in part to help convince the International Monetary Fund that Egypt is serious about economic reform. [Egypt Independent/Reuters, 11/11/2012]

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Security forces in Sinai attacked
Masked gunmen attacked a Central Security Forces camp in the North Sinai town of Rafah on Monday. The attack resulted in no deaths or injuries and no arrests have yet been made. The attack is the second in 24 hours and fifth since the 25 January 2011 uprising. Eyewitnesses said the gunmen drove a four-wheel drive vehicle and that they shot at the camp from the same area they used to attack it on Sunday, when an unknown armed group fired at the Central Security Forces camp in the Ahrash district in Rafah. According to the Ahram Arabic news website, the attackers fled when the police fired back. However, no casualties were reported. [Daily News Egypt, Ahram Online, 11/12/2012]

Egypt takes threats to destroy Pyramids, Sphinx seriously: official
Egypt is taking a jihadist’s calls to destroy the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx “seriously,” an Egyptian interior ministry source has said, according to reports. The source, who was not named, spoke to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper late Monday in response to Sheikh Murgan Salem al-Gohary’s television interview earlier this week. Egypt’s Coalition to Support Tourism (CST) said it will file a case against top Egyptian officials for inaction in response to statements by a Salafist sheikh who called for the demolition of the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Gohary, a jihadist with self-professed links to the Taliban, called for the “destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,” drawing ties between the Egyptian relics and Buddha statues. [Al Arabiya, Ahram Online 11/13/2012]

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Workers threaten to close Cairo Metro
The Cairo Metro has confirmed that it expects its workers to close down its two lines on Wednesday. The threats to stop operation of the metro represent the most recent development in an ongoing protest. After workers staged peaceful protests at the stops of Damerdash, Shubra, and Al-Marg, the demonstrators plan to move their sit-in to Al-Shohada station, formerly named “Mubarak,” on Ramsis Street. [Daily News Egypt, 11/13/2012]

Al-Nadeem Center: Man imprisoned for sexual harassment
A man was sentenced to two years in prison and fined LE2,000 for sexually harassing a woman, an NGO announced Monday. Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence announced the conviction in a post on Facebook, saying that the accident dates back to 17 July, when a woman was sexually harassed by a 42-year-old man while waiting for a taxi on Nasr street in Maadi. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online 11/13/2012]

Civil society groups and political parties march against IMF loan
A number of civil society groups and political parties marched from the Egyptian stock exchange to the Cabinet building expressing their opposition to the possible loan that Egypt is looking to secure form the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The groups believe that to accept the loan would constitute an abuse of power by President Mohamed Morsy, since he currently wields full legislative powers only in the absence of parliament. They said in an online statement “the public consultation carried out by the government so far… has been exclusionary” and “the government do not explain how this loan will contribute to the national economic plan for inclusive growth and social justice.” [Daily News Egypt, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online 10/12/2012]

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Morsy confirms Egypt’s support for Palestinian UN non-state membership
President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that President Mohammed Morsy has confirmed Egypt will support the Palestinian bid for non-state United Nations membership. Morsy and Abbas agreed that the bid will be presented to the General Assembly on 29 November at the UN headquarters in New York. During the meeting Morsy told Abbas that Egypt will encourage other countries to support the bid. [Daily News Egypt, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/13/2012]

Greek president apologises to Morsi for attacks on Egyptians
Greek President Karolos Papoulias has apologised to President Mohamed Morsi for recent attacks on Egyptian migrants in Greece, presidential aide for foreign affairs Ayman Ali said Monday. Waleed Taleb, a 29-year-old undocumented Egyptian immigrant, was recently found chained to a tree on the island of Salamina west of Athens. He had been brutally beaten all over his body. [Ahram Online, SIS, 11/12/2012]


Protesters hold a sign saying "Open your eyes, the debt will be repaid from your pocket and mine" during Monday’s protest against the IMF negotiations (Photo: Mai Shaheen)