Top News: Egypt’s Presidential Elections a Two Man Race

Egypt’s Presidential Electoral Commission (PEC) said on Sunday only two presidential hopefuls—former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi—are to run in next month’s presidential poll.

Egypt’s presidential elections a two man race
Egypt’s Presidential Electoral Commission (PEC) said on Sunday only two presidential hopefuls—former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi—are to run in next month’s presidential poll. Controversial lawyer Mortada Mansour announced on Saturday that he would not run in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections, claiming that his decision comes despite having collected 20,000 recommendation forms. Sisi’s electoral campaign submitted 188,930 signatures backing his candidacy to the commission organizing the vote, PEC secretary-general Abdel-Aziz Salman said. Sabbahi gathered 31,555 signatures, Salman added. Sabbahi’s campaign called on supporters on Saturday to gather to celebrate that he has officially submitted his presidential bid. Sabbahi also accused his rival’s campaign of bribing citizens to sign endorsements for the former defense minister’s candidacy. The commission has so far granted six international civil society groups approval to monitor the elections and is looking into requests by another 120, the official added. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, AFP/DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Mada Masr, 4/21/2014]

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Cairo court sentences Beltagy to one year in jail for insulting judges
Leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed al-Beltagy was sentenced to a year in prison on Saturday for insulting the judges in a trial in which he and other Brotherhood members are accused of inciting violence against protesters outside the presidential palace last year. Cairo’s Criminal Court gave Beltagy the sentence after he accused the court of bias during Saturday’s proceedings. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 4/19/2014]

Thirty Morsi loyalists given three and a half years in jail for illegal protesting
A Cairo misdemeanor court has sentenced thirty supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to three-and-a-half years in jail for rioting and illegal protesting. The convicted were arrested during clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protesters last December at the Supreme Constitutional Court in downtown Cairo during one of several trials for the ousted president. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 4/20/2014]

Egypt’s prosecutor-general refers twenty-five accused of torturing Tamarod members
Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat has referred twenty-five Muslim Brotherhood members to criminal court on charges of kidnapping and torturing two Tamarod members in Minya. Brotherhood elements kidnapped two people who were part of a march in Minya and detained them to a Freedom and Justice Party headquarters, Barakat said in a statement. The two were tortured until the police were able to free them from captivity, he added. The prosecution charged the defendants with detaining the two members, physically torturing them, causing a permanent disability for one of them, and possessing arms. Investigations revealed that the defendants had previously planned the kidnapping of several Tamarod members in order to terrorize group members and citizens. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/19/2014]

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  • Death sentence for child molester and murderer in Zagazig | DNE
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  • More testimonies to be heard May 3 in Morsi trial for palace clashes | Mada Masr
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Egypt to start energy subsidy restructure in July, says prime minister
In efforts to pare down the budget deficit, Egypt will push ahead July with subsidies restructuring while protecting poorer sectors of the population, says interim premier Ibrahim Mahlab. Egypt’s total subsidy bill registered a decline of EGP 9 billion ($1.2 billion) in the first eight months of FY2013/14 compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. [Ahram Online, 4/20/2014]

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One dead, four injured in sectarian clashes in Egypt’s Qalyubia governorate
One died and four were injured when sectarian clashes erupted early Saturday in Qalyubia governorate over two motorists’ right of way, state-run news agency MENA reported. The clashes in the city of Khusus resulted in the death of Romany Milad, who died from gunshot wounds. The incident began in a dispute between a Muslim and a Christian over whose car would pass first in a crowded street. Clashes then ensued when the two called on their friends for support, ending in a shootout between Muslims and Christians using live bullets and birdshot, a security source told MENA. Security forces were able to contain the clashes and then later remained in the area in increased numbers against a possible return of violence. This is not the first time that sectarian clashes have erupted in Khusus. In April 2013, clashes between Muslims and Christians left six dead and twenty-two injured. [Ahram Online, 4/19/2014]

Bassem Youssef’s show on mandatory break to ‘not influence elections’
The MBC channel group said on Saturday that Bassem Youssef’s El-Bernameg (The Program) will be suspended until May 30 to prevent influencing voters during the upcoming presidential elections, Egypt’s state news agency said. The MBC group explained that the already-set suspension is in respect of the May elections and is in effort to prevent influencing public opinion. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/19/2014]

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Bomb kills officer in Giza; Militants kill two more outside of Cairo
The Egyptian militant group Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility on Saturday for a blast that killed one police officer in Cairo. The bomb exploded in Cairo’s Lebanon Square on Friday night, killing the officer and wounding another. Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said in a statement on an Islamist website that its militants had monitored a police checkpoint in the square before detonating the bomb. An interior ministry statement on Sunday confirmed that gunmen killed an Egyptian intelligence officer and a policeman on a road outside Cairo in a late-night firefight. The armed men fled the scene after shooting dead Captain Ashraf Badeer al-Qazzaz of the intelligence service and a police conscript, the ministry said in a statement. The two men were on security patrol late on Saturday on a desert road linking Cairo to the canal city of Suez when they tried to stop a vehicle, which then opened fire on them. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 4/20/2014]

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  • Islamist figure Magdi Hussein stopped at Cairo airport before flight to Turkey | Ahram Online
  • Eighteen Brotherhood members, jihadists arrested in Suez | Ahram Online


Public invited to give evidence to UK review of Muslim Brotherhood
The United Kingdom has called on the public to provide information which may help its review of the Muslim Brotherhood. Prime Minister David Cameron recently commissioned an internal government review into the Islamist group, which has been banned as a terrorist organization in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The review will look into the group’s values, activities, policies, philosophy, activities, impact and influence on the British national interests, at home and abroad. The review team, led by Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, asked any interested parties or individuals to send information. A spokesman for the prime minister’s office told Ahram Online that this was a procedural statement, confirming that Jenkins’ team was commissioned to make a review, not conduct a legal or judicial investigation. He confirmed that the deadline for the receipt of evidence is May 30. The review is expected to be completed by July. [Ahram Online 4/18/2014]

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