Top News: Court Ends State of Emergency; Presidential Source Says Protest Law to be Issued Shortly

The administrative court ruled today to end the state of emergency in Egypt by force of law. Meanwhile, a presidential source says that the protest law is set to be ratified before the state of emergency is lifted. 

Court ends state of emergency; Presidential source says protest law to be issued shortly
The administrative court ruled today to end the state of emergency in Egypt by force of law, according to a press statement released on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, hours before the court ruling was announced, Shorouk reported that interim president Adly Mansour received the final draft of the protest law on Tuesday, after it was further amended by the ministry of justice. Presidential sources had told Shorouk that the law set to be ratified by the president before the state of emergency is lifted. [Cairo Post, Shorouk (Arabic), 11/12/2013]

Egypt’s Nour Party slams Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘defamation campaign’
The Nour Party is claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood has been orchestrating a campaign to slander them, according to Nour spokesman Sherif Taha. In a statement on the party’s official website, Taha accused the Muslim Brotherhood of waging a campaign of defamation and deceit, intended to spread lies and misinformation about the group. The campaign, said Taha, began before the ouster of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency. “It is better if the Muslim Brotherhood starts to look for the reason that led to their miserable failures and learn from their mistakes, instead of blaming others for their own failures and living the role of the victim,” said Taha in his statement. Meanwhile, leading Nour Party member Nader Bakkar defended the Salafist party against what he described as “rumors” spread by the Muslim Brotherhood, insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood’s mission is marred by “violence” and “defamation.” [DNE, Ahram Online, 11/11/2013]

Announcement of election dates an appeal to foreign governments: Darrag
The planned spring parliamentary elections announced by Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy last Friday is a publicity stunt to garner support from abroad, according to senior Anti-Coup Alliance and Freedom and Justice Party leader Amr Darrag. Speaking with Al Arabiya, Darrag expressed dismay that the elections were announced by the foreign minister to the foreign press, an “unprecedented manoeuvre,” rather than being announced to the Egyptian people by the president, prime minister, or minister of interior. [DNE, 11/10/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt lifts state of emergency in Sharm al-Sheikh | Ahram Online
Ex-presidential candidate Khaled Ali leaves Egypt’s Socialist Alliance Party | Ahram Online
Mass membership resignations rejected by Egypt’s Socialist Popular Alliance Party | Ahram Online, DNE
Cabinet to draft law to protect senior state’s officials’ ‘actions based on good intentions’ | DNE
Moderates fade from political view in polarized Egypt | Reuters
Presidential elections by next summer: Hegazy | Ahram Online
Strong Egypt Party attempts to block demonstration law | Cairo Post


Lawyers allowed to visit Morsi in prison; Trial date set for Brotherhood leaders
A Cairo appeal court on Monday extended the detention of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi for a further thirty days on charges of escaping from jail and espionage during the 2011 uprising. Morsi was allowed a visit from a five-member delegation, including the ex-leader’s son Osama Morsi, Lawyers’ Syndicate freedoms committee head Mohamed al-Damaty and Islamist thinker Mohamed Selim al-Awa. The delegation urged Morsi to appoint a lawyer, something he has so far refused to do. Meanwhile, an Egyptian Appeals Court set December 9 for the first hearing of the trial of Muslim Brotherhood senior leaders, who are detained on charges of inciting violence in Giza clashes that broke out in July. A judicial source told Aswat Masriya that Mohamed Badie, Mohamed al-Beltagy, Essam al-Erian, Assem Abdel Maged, Safwat Hegazy, Bassem Ouda and nine others will be tried at a criminal court in Giza. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, AP, Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 11/12/2013]

Egypt to adopt a French-style political system; Assembly will not extend deadline
Spokesman for the Constituent Assembly Mohamed Salmawy said Monday that the assembly has concluded over 100 articles in the constitution, namely those related to the governance system, culture, monuments and heritage. He added that the assembly will finish its task on December 3, and that there will be no need for a deadline extension. Salmawy told parliamentary correspondents that the committee had voted on sixteen articles concerning system of governance, including article 121 which “builds the new shape of Egypt’s political system.” According to Salmawy, the article adopts a French-style political system in which the president and prime minister share powers. However, as the assembly reaches the halfway point of its work, controversial issues — mainly centred on the role of Islamic Sharia — continue to cause rifts between seculars and Islamists. Meanwhile, criticism of the constitution continues. The Egyptian Shia community demanded greater protections in the country’s new constitution expected to go to public referendum by the end of the year. In particular they want more emphasis on freedom of religion as well as protection from discrimination and hate speech. The Tagammu Party accused the constitution committee of favoring the rich and ignoring the rights of women, Coptic Christians and Nubians, while protests have been called for by an Egyptian NGO, demanding a women’s parliamentary quota in the amended constitution. [DNE, Ahram Online, SIS, 11/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Editor in Chief, Journalist and Councilor referred to court | DNE,Mada Masr
Forty three Al-Azhar students referred to Misdemeanour Court | Ahram Online
Egypt’s prosecutor orders release of twenty five Ultras Ahlawy | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Masrawy
Court resumes lawsuit accusing Mubarak of seizing state-owned plot | Egypt Independent
ECCR praises children’s rights article in draft constitution | DNE
General Prosecutor appeals Suez Criminal Court verdict | DNE
Egypt constitution panel rejects article on progressive taxation | Ahram Online


Egypt plans extra stimulus by year-end as public debt exceeds EGP 1.8 trillion
The Egyptian government will launch a new economic stimulus package by the end of the year, the finance minister said on Monday, bringing forward spending plans that will help revive the economy but put even more strain on state coffers. Pointing to efforts to attract new investment, the military-backed government also said it would launch a tender to draw up plans to develop a corridor around the Suez Canal, reviving a mega-project tabled by deposed president Mohamed Morsi. Finance Minister Ahmed Galal said the second stimulus package, previously estimated at EGP 24 billion ($3.5 billion), would be launched “before January.” The government had previously indicated it might only be brought in early next year. The first stimulus package was initially set at EGP 22.3 billion, but the government announced on October 21 it had increased it to EGP 29.6 billion. Addressing the Euromoney conference, which kicked off on Monday, Galal also said that the Egyptian economy is in dire need of tangible economic results as public debt has exceeded EGP 1.8 trillion. [Reuters, SIS, 11/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
IMF says still ready to aid Egypt when needed | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Masrawy  
EGX30 slumps on profit-taking after hitting record highs | Ahram Online
Luxor to host Euromoney conference next April | Egypt Independent
Egypt signs five new oil excavation deals | Egypt Independent
Egypt trade deficit rose 6.3 percent in July year-on-year: CAPMAS | Ahram Online
Egypt’s annual inflation reaches ten month high of 11.5 percent | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Masrawy
Sunday economy roundup | Mada Masr
Butane gas regulation to be revised: Petroleum Minister | Cairo Post


Egypt worst country in Arab world for women: Thomson Reuters Foundation survey
Egypt is the worst country for women in the Arab world, closely followed by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, according to gender experts surveyed in a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll released on Tuesday. Sexual harassment, high rates of female genital mutilation, a surge in violence and the growth of Islamism after the January 2011 uprising have made Egypt the worst country in the Arab world to be a woman, a poll of gender experts showed. Discriminatory laws and a spike in trafficking of women also contributed to Egypt finishing bottom of twenty two Arab states, the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey found. Despite hopes that women would be one of the prime beneficiaries of the Arab Spring, they have instead been some of the biggest losers, as the revolts have brought conflict, instability, displacement and a rise in Islamist groups in many parts of the region, experts said. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Egypt Independent, Masrawy, 11/12/2013]

Pro-Morsi alliance calls for weeklong protests; Clashes break out in Mansoura
Egyptian police fired tear gas on Tuesday at student supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi who were protesting at the university in the Nile Delta town of Mansoura, witnesses said. Four people were hurt in clashes between the students, police and residents that erupted near the Mansoura University campus, according to security sources. Five Zagazig University employees also were injured in clashes between Muslim Brotherhood-linked students and university staff on Tuesday. This came after students broke into the main administrative building of the university on Tuesday morning, according to security sources, smashing cars and vandalising the building’s exterior. Students also threw Molotov cocktails at office buildings, according to sources. The National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy had called for a “thunderous million-man march” on Tuesday in support of students’ freedom. In a Sunday statement, the group said it was “the duty of Egyptians to offer their support to the torrential student uprising” occupying Egypt’s universities, and called for the release of all student detainees preventively held in custody. The coalition also called for fresh daily rallies this week under the slogan “Freedom for the honorable,” in protest of the recent arrests of its loyalists, including women, in protests. Scores had rallied by Egypt’s High Court in downtown on Saturday denouncing the mass arrests that followed Morsi’s ouster . [Egypt Independent , Reuters, DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 11/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Ahly striker suspended for ‘Raba’a’ salute, player apologizes | DNE, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Reuters, Mada Masr
Two dead and nineteen arrested in Friday protests | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
120 unknown corpses since June 30: Egypt’s forensic authority | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
Egypt women ride bikes to defy sexual harassment | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Masrawy
Armed forces complete Raba’a restoration | DNE, Ahram Online
Anti-Shia tensions mount ahead of holy day | Mada Masr
“No Military Trials for Civilians” Protest at Shoura Council | Masrawy
Eleven journalists died in past year and a half, report | Cairo Post


Two soldiers killed in Ismailia; Gunmen attack radio station Arish
Gunmen killed two Egyptian soldiers on Sunday in an attack on a military facility near the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, a security official said. A third soldier was wounded in the attack on the base, located on the road between Ismailia and the city of Zagazig, to the west in the Nile Delta. The gunmen opened fire from a passing vehicle, the official said. Unknown gunmen also launched a concerted attack on a radio station in Masa’eed, Arish early on Monday. Heavy firing broke out when gunmen clashed with army troops who arrived in two armored vehicles to secure the radio building. No casualties were reported. A bomb also exploded on the Ring Road in the Masa’eed district when an armored police vehicle was passing through. The explosion caused no casualties. [DNE, Reuters, Egypt Independent, 11/12/2013]

Security presence to remain despite expiration of curfew
Egypt’s major streets, squares and gathering points will continue to have a heightened security presence even after the curfew expires on Thursday, according to Minister of the Interior Mohamed Ibrahim. In a statement issued on Monday, Ibrahim said that security forces will remain on the streets to “transmit a sense of confidence and security in the hearts of the citizens.”  A Ministry of Interior spokesman suggested that checkpoints may remain in place, but he was unable to confirm. The curfew will end at 5 a.m. on Thursday morning, said Fouad Ettaby from the Ministry of Interior press office. [DNE, Ahram Online, SIS, 11/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
April 6 activists stopped at airport, interrogated by ‘sovereign body’ | Mada Masr


Egypt to expand Russia cooperation after fall out with US: FM
Egypt will expand cooperation with Russia in the wake of a diplomatic spat with long-time ally the United States following president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said Saturday. The foreign minister, in an interview with AFP, was speaking ahead of a visit on Wednesday by Russia’s defense and foreign ministers to discuss arms sales and political relations. The defense and foreign ministers of Egypt and Russia meet this week in a bid to strengthen bilateral relations, which has some wondering whether this signals a shift in Egypt’s foreign policy focus. The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Russia and Egypt will soon agree on a comprehensive meeting aimed at developing relations in economic, military and technological sectors. The Russian officials visit was preceded earlier in the week by what was described in local media as a “popular delegation” from Russia, while a visit by a Russian warship to Egypt’s Alexandria port on Monday was celebrated in several media outlets as a sign of improving Russian relations. Alongside leaders of the Egyptian navy, the commander of the Russian ship placed flowers on the Unknown Soldier memorial in Mansheya, while a military band played the national anthems of both countries. [DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Masrawy ,Masrawy , Ahram Online, 11/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
HRW report: Egypt detains Syrian refugees and coerces them out of the country | Ahram Online, DNE, AP
Egypt summons Turkish ambassador over ‘interference’ | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, Masrawy
Egypt backs Palestinians’ demands, Sisi tells Abbas | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, DNE
Fahmy discusses peace talks with UN coordinator | DNE
European Union grants Egypt 100 million euros | Egypt Independent
EU contacts with Egypt ongoing: spokesperson | Egypt Independent
Egypt begins talks with Greece and Cyprus | DNE, Egypt Independent

Image: Photo: Jonathan Rashad