The first cabinet under Egypt’s new President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in on Tuesday morning, headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. 


Egypt’s new cabinet sworn in; Ministry of information scrapped
The first cabinet under Egypt’s new President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in on Tuesday morning, headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. The new government – the third since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July of last year – retains twenty-one existing ministers, one of whom will hold a new portfolio, and introduces thirteen new ones. Former Ambassador to the United States Sameh Shoukry replaces Nabil Fahmy as minister of foreign affairs. The full cabinet list showed most other ministers are holdovers from the previous thirty-one member cabinet, including the ministers for finance, defense, interior, planning, oil, electricity, supplies and communications. The formation of new ministerial portfolios saw the removal of the ministry of information, the creation of the ministry of urban development, and the ministry of investment was split from the ministry of trade and industry. Three ministries were split, bringing the total number of ministries to thirty-four. Sisi headed the first meeting of the newly-formed government after it took the constitutional oath. [DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, SIS, Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, 6/17/2014]

Parliamentary coalitions begin formation for elections
Political coalitions created for the 2014 presidential elections in May are currently in the process of regrouping in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Tayar al-Istiqlal (Independent Current) coalition, formed on Sunday to support the elected president in parliament, announced that it will compete for 420 seats of parliament. Meanwhile, the Free Egyptians Party (FEP) announced in a Monday statement that the party is studying running independently. The Wafd Party formed a coalition, called The Egyptian Wafd, comprising several liberal parties including the Egyptian Social Democratic Party as well as public figures including Amr al-Shobaky and Hany Sarey al-Din. Additionally, head of the Dostour Party Hala Shukrallah recently announced her party will present a legal memorandum this week to President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi suggesting amendments to the parliamentary elections law. [DNE, 6/16/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Mahlab, Sisi to hold monthly meeting on implementation of projects | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Presidential decree to increase pensions by 10 percent as of July 1 | EGYNews (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • National Council for Women objects to cabinet reshuffle, says four ministries not enough | AMAY (Arabic)


Al Jazeera journalist Shamy granted medical release; Jazeera trial lawyers make closing arguments 
Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah El-Shamy, who has been on hunger strike since January, was granted release on Monday by Egypt’s general prosecutor for health reasons. His release comes 306 days after he was arrested during the violent dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-in in Raba’a al-Adaweya. Twelve other detainees were also released for medical reasons, according to a statement by the general prosecution. The names of the released detainees are: Moaz Arafa, Ibrahim al-Shafei, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mahmoud Salam, Mohamed al-Ashry, Abdel-Kader Hamady, Khaled Abdel-Razek, Mahmoud al-Shazly, Moustafa Gomaa, Yasser Mahmoud Abdel-Attif, Mohamed al-Sawy and Yehya Hasan. Last week, an Egyptian court renewed the detention of al-Shamy for 45 days – despite reports that he has lost almost a third of his body weight and is in poor health as a result of the hunger strike. Meanwhile, lawyers made closing statements in the prominent trial of three Al Jazeera journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, along with fourteen other defendants, on Monday. The court is expected to issue its final verdict on June 23. The lawyer for Anas Beltagy, a defendant in the case and son of General Secretary for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, used his closing argument to make a political statement defending the Brotherhood, prompting outrage from the journalist defendants. [Egypt IndependentAPReutersAswat MasriyaAMAY(Arabic), Mada Masr, 6/16/2014]

Administrative court refers protest law appeal to constitutional court
After accepting an appeal against the protest law, a Cairo administrative court referred the case on Tuesday to the Supreme Constitutional Court. The Court has allowed Khaled Ali, a lawyer and a former presidential hopeful, to appeal the constitutionality of the protest law in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court on October 21. “The Administrative Court allowed us to challenge two articles of the protest law in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court,” Ali tweeted on Tuesday. Several political parties, including the Popular Current and Dostour, have demanded that the law be abolished and that all those detained on account of it be released, said a statement they issued on Monday. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 6/17/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Activists’ trial in Alexandria postponed to June 21 | DNE
  • Twenty-four Morsi supporters referred to criminal court in Mansoura | DNE
  • Mohammed Badie Raba’a trial postponed to June 23 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • AFTE appeal against Cairo University detainees refused | DNE


Sisi examining 2014/2015 budget
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is currently studying next year’s budget presented to him by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab’s government prior to the latter’s resignation from the former interim government. The plan corresponded to his economic orientations, according to the Minister of Finance’s Adviser for Public Outreach Mosbah Qotb, who could not confirm amendments to the budget. [DNE, 6/16/2014]  

Also of Interest:

  • Industry Minister: New economic policies underway to encourage investment | SIS
  • Egypt’s shares continue slide as local institutions cash in | Ahram Online
  • 75 percent of first stimulus package’s projects completed: Araby | DNE
  • World Bank commences social consultations on supporting Egypt | DNE


Seoudi and Zad to be re-opened under Egyptian government’s control
Egypt’s ministry of supply stated on Monday that two retailers closed just a day before by authorities, Seoudi and Zad supermarkets, will be placed under the control of the Egyptian Food Industries Holding Company (FIH). According to Al-Ahram, the supply ministry will re-operate the chains after finishing the commodities’ inventory, adding that the workers’ rights and payments will not be touched. The two supermarket chains were ordered on Sunday to be shut and placed under government surveillance on accusations of backing the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 6/16/2014]

Thirteen rights groups condemn seizure of ANHRI publication
Thirteen rights groups condemned Monday the seizure of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information’s (ANHRI) newsletter, Wasla, as well as the arrest of an employee at the publishing house that produces the newsletter. “Such a move is a continuation of the policies of restriction and repression of human rights organizations, and in retaliation for [rights groups’] role in exposing human rights violations,” the joint statement said. The statement also notes that the seizure of the publication is “in stark contrast with the international standards of the right to association, which guarantees the right of association in the expression of opinion on issues of public affairs.” Among the signatories of the document are the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. [DNE, 6/17/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • CAPMAS: Road accidents claim almost eighteen lives per day in Egypt | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Jihadi leader: Paying money to Zakat House haram | Egypt Independent
  • Chlorine cylinder explodes in Aswan water company, workers suffocate | Egypt Independent
  • Human rights organizations demand investigation into torture of detainees | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Mahlab: Sisi stresses addressing human rights violations | Shorouk (Arabic)


Interior minister: Security forces to clamp down on criminal hotbeds
Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said Tuesday that his ministry will focus on the elimination of criminal hotbeds and the removal of all forms of infringement of the law. After being sworn in, Ibrahim said President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi stressed the need to intensify security efforts to confront crime, control streets and enforce the law on everyone without any exception. Ibrahim added that the security forces already raided a number of criminal hotbeds nationwide, noting that he led crackdowns himself in Qaliubiya and other areas in Port Said, and Damietta. He pointed out that the traffic problems would have priority as the victims of traffic accidents reached high levels in 2013. [Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 6/17/2014]


Foreign ministry denies killing of Egyptian diplomat in Yemen
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Badr Abdel Aaty denied on Monday the news about the killing of Assistant Administrative Attaché at the Egyptian Consulate in Aden, Hoda Mohamed al-Ghabari. He said that al-Ghabari died naturally in her home. [SIS, 6/17/2014]

Senator Tim Kaine makes three recommendations for US-Egypt ties
Writing for Al Monitor US Senator Tim Kaine proposed a three part plan for US-Egypt ties. Kaine’s recommendations include narrowing the definition of terrorism and announcing ambitious security sector modernization. To change the political momentum, Kaine writes Sisi should release political prisoners, pardon non-governmental organization workers convicted under Morsi and invite all Egyptians who renounce violence back into the political process. Finally, on the economic front, Kaine says Sisi must pursue difficult but practical reforms, and engage the international financial institutions, his Gulf partners and the United States in a coordinated way. Sisi also needs to create a business-friendly environment to invite investment and tourism to return. [Al Monitor, 6/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi meets Arab Parliament delegation | SIS
  • Shoukry: Egypt’s foreign policy will not undergo changes | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Sisi calls for combating terrorism and extremism in the Arab region | Ahram (Arabic)