Egypt’s cabinet approved the amended electoral districts law after the committee tasked with amending the parliamentary law under the supervision of Minister of Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim al-Heneidy presented its final draft on Wednesday. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab presented the amendments to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, prior to approving the law. The law is to be sent to State Council for revision.


Egypt’s cabinet approves amendments to election laws
Egypt’s cabinet approved the amended electoral districts law after the committee tasked with amending the parliamentary law under the supervision of Minister of Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim al-Heneidy presented its final draft on Wednesday. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab presented the amendments to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, prior to approving the law. The law is to be sent to State Council for revision. The transitional justice ministry issued on Thursday a statement explaining the amendments to the constituency law, the parliamentary elections law, and the political participation law. Several party leaders, however, criticized the committee for allegedly ignoring their proposals, saying that the amendments only addressed the articles challenged by the Supreme Constitutional Court. Hussein Abdel Razeq, member of the leftist Tagammu Party, said that the committee did not consider their proposals at all. There will be no consensus on the draft law, which should conform to the Constitution, he told Al-Masry Al-Youm. The head of Egypt’s the liberal Wafd Party also criticized the Prime Minister’s meetings with political parties on the country’s electoral laws, describing them as “useless.” Similarly, Socialist Popular Alliance Party Acting President Medhat al-Zahed accused the cabinet of preparing the law in advance of any dialogue with Egypt’s political parties. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 4/16/2015]

Egypt’s cabinet approves demolition of defunct NDP headquarters
The Egyptian cabinet announced its approval Wednesday of demolishing the main downtown headquarters of the former ruling National Democratic Party. Cairo governorate will oversee the demolition process that will be carried out by the Egyptian Armed Forces’ Engineering Authority. The cabinet had announced in March 2014 that the headquarters would be demolished and the space given to the adjoining garden and buildings of the Egyptian Museum. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 4/15/2015]

Also of Interest

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  • Presidential Decree stipulates Mohamed Youssef to be Technical Education Minister not Minister of State | SIS
  • Cabinet probes political, economic, security files | SIS
  • Prime Minister reviews one-million-feddan development project | SIS
  • Democratic Current alliance boycotts party lists, runs for individual seats | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Civil parties join forces to confront ‘For the Love of Egypt’ electoral list | Shorouk (Arabic)


Former Morsi aide prevented from leaving for Canada
Authorities at Cairo International Airport prevented on Wednesday former President Mohamed Morsi’s aide from leaving the country. After over a year in prison, Khaled al-Qazzaz was released without charge in January on account of his deteriorating health. Qazzaz’s family earlier said the father of four had received all of the needed documents to leave Egypt and expected to arrive in Toronto on Thursday. But late Wednesday, his brother-in-law said Qazzaz, his wife Sarah, and their four children were stopped at the airport and told they could not leave. The statement from Ahmed Attia also said their passports were taken and savings intended for Qazzaz’s medical costs were confiscated. [CBC, 4/16/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sinai companies allowed to trade in stock market without prior clearance | Egypt Independent
  • Trial of Mubarak’s two sons in stock exchange case adjourned to July 15 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Zawahiri cell trial postponed to April 26 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to start monthly oil product deliveries to Egypt  
State-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will start monthly deliveries of $400 million of petroleum products to Egypt starting next week until the end of October, a source at the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) has said. Egypt will receive the products on credit, and the interest rate is still being negotiated. The Egyptian government has said that EGPC will buy 65 percent of its oil product import needs from ADNOC this year. The agreement covers gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas. [Reuters, 4/16/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt signs MOUs with Kuwaiti company for $1.6 bln in energy projects | Reuters
  • Egypt to prioritize Toshka, Minya and Western Desert in land reclamation project | Ahram Online
  • Sudan buys Egyptian tycoon Sawiris’ stake in gold company | Ahram Online, Reuters
  • CAPMAS says 3.8 percent annual increase in tourist visits in February | Ahram Online
  • ETF to present obstacles facing sector in April says Elhamy al-Zayat | DNE
  • Slight growth in Arab tourism income in 2014 says tourism ministry official | DNE
  • Russian tourism companies demand charter flight fees decrease | DNE
  • CBE governor says Egypt yet to receive Arab deposits | DNE
  • Minister says no increase in energy prices in July | Egypt Independent, SIS
  • Egypt signs deal to create transformer station ahead of the summer | Aswat Masriya


Religious endowments ministry to form anti-atheism awareness groups
The ministry of religious endowments has decided to form special groups to spread awareness on controversial community issues in Egypt’s mosques. During a meeting with his deputies from different governorates on Tuesday, Religious Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said those groups will hold small monthly gatherings between the evening prayers in mosques. Ministry Spokesman Mohamed Abdel Razek said the groups aim to spread awareness on the “threats of atheism, Shi’a, Baha’ism expiation, killings, and drug addiction.” [DNE, 4/15/2015]

Arrested journalist recommended by interior ministry says newspaper
In its first official response to his arrest, al-Dostour newspaper said Tuesday that journalist Hussein Abdel Halim was recommended by the ministry of interior to work as the reporter responsible for the security file. The newspaper argued that the police interfered to have Abdel Halim as a trainee journalist specializing in news related to the Ministry of Interior. The ministry denied having any intervention in choosing reporters. On its front page, the newspaper continued its attack on the police apparatus, condemning Abdel Halim’s arrest, describing it as “the return of the police state.” [DNE, 4/15/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Committee confiscates hospital and school for Brotherhood affiliation | Aswat Masriya
  • Hundreds in Kafr al-Sheikh protest attack on military academy students | Ahram Online
  • Museum curator demands Culture Minister apologize for weight slur | Ahram Online
  • Museum curator mocked by Culture Minister referred to interrogation | Egypt Independent
  • Women rights organization slams minister’s humiliation of stout employee | Egypt Independent
  • Burning of Islamist books stirs up controversy | DNE
  • Revolution advocate found dead with torture marks | DNE
  • Shoft Taharosh suggests reformatory prison for sexual abusers | Egypt Independent
  • Rights groups condemn firing 480 workers | Egypt Independent
  • Newspaper restores Facebook page hacked by ISIS | Egypt Independent
  • Over 3,000 Egypt Gas workers continue to strike nationwide | Mada Masr


Bomb kills policeman in Egypt’s North Sinai
A policeman was killed and three injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) hit an armored vehicle in Egypt’s North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuweid on Thursday. Unidentified assailants planted an explosive device on a road south of Sheikh Zuweid when army personnel were passing. The injured conscript was transferred to the al-Arish Military Hospital for treatment. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s attack. Meanwhile, in a statement on Wednesday, Minister of Interior Spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said terrorist attacks in Egypt have decreased by 65 percent. However, the war against terror has not ended yet, he added. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, 4/16/2015]

Army pilot, policeman quarrel escalates over driving license
A quarrel between an army pilot and a policeman on Tuesday in Menoufiya escalated as a police station and prosecution office fell under siege. A policeman stopped a car asking the driver for his license, but the driver refused saying he is an army pilot, leading to a physical quarrel. When police detained the army officer, army police gathered outside Shebin al-Koum’s police unit demanding his release. The police unit filed a report to the general prosecution on the incident. Policemen gathered outside the prosecution office demanding the release of their colleague as he was being interrogated on the incident. The prosecution referred the report to military prosecution due to the involvement of military personnel. Menoufiya governor Hisham Abdel Basit told Daily News Egypt the issue had later been resolved, saying: “The report will proceed through prosecution normally and the issue was solved friendly and respectfully.” [DNE, 4/15/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Bomb defused at hospital in Egypt’s Sharqiya | Ahram Online


Egypt, Bahrain to conduct first joint military exercise
For the first time, the Egyptian and Bahraini Armed Forces will conduct air-maritime joint military exercises. Four Egyptian naval units and a number of F-16 fighter jets will participate in the exercise, due to kick off on April 20. Military expert Mohamed Mokhtar Qandil said that the reason for the Egyptian-Bahraini military exercises is not only to train forces on operations that could be conducted in the Arabian Gulf in the future, but is also part of the initial steps to be taken before the formation of a joint Arab military force. [SIS, 4/16/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Body of foreigner found in garbage bag in Egypt’s Luxor | Ahram Online
  • Sudanese authorities interrogate detained Egyptian fishermen | DNE
  • Family of detained Irish Morsi supporter call on Taoiseach to intervene | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt to recover smuggled artifact from London | Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
  • Egypt, Sudan use only 4 percent of Nile resources | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi, Abbas discuss Palestinian developments | SIS
  • Egyptian, Polish Foreign Ministers discuss bilateral relations, international issues | SIS
  • Dar al-Iftaa urges combating extremist ideology of Somali Shabab movement | SIS
  • Sisi invited to Hungary | EGYNews (Arabic)