Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has rejected claims the state is promoting candidates or groups ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election. “The government swore an oath not to talk about the election and has not asked anyone to nominate themselves nor backed anyone, this is a definitive decision,” he said in comments to state news agency MENA


Egypt’s Prime Minister denies government interference in upcoming elections
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has rejected claims the state is promoting candidates or groups ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election. “The government swore an oath not to talk about the election and has not asked anyone to nominate themselves nor backed anyone, this is a definitive decision,” he said in comments to state news agency MENA. While Mahlab acknowledged disagreements among parties on certain issues, he insisted the dialogue has been successful in general. Meanwhile, government sources said that there is no time to amend all election laws and that focus will be on the two articles revoked by the Supreme Court in order to hold the parliamentary election this year. [Ahram Online, SIS, 4/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s president appoints new head of key financial watchdog | Ahram Online
  • Deal to establish new capital project to be announced in few days | SIS
  • Social Solidarity Minister says new NGOs law conforms to constitution | Shorouk (Arabic)


Former Egyptian provincial governor jailed for protesting
A Cairo court sentenced on Thursday a former governor of the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya who served under former president Mohamed Morsi to four years in prison for protesting and inciting violence in Cairo’s Nasr City district. Former Governor Hassan al-Naggar was also fined EGP50,000. According to investigations, al-Naggar, a former judge, was arrested while leading a protest by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Nasr City last March, where protesters “cut off the road, disrupted traffic and security and chanted against the armed forces, police, and state institutions.” He was also referred to a disciplinary council in the case dubbed by the media as the “Judges for Egypt” movement. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 4/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian law in the dock as Shaimaa al-Sabbagh witnesses go on trial | The Guardian
  • Brotherhood affiliate sentenced ten years for carrying unlicensed gun in Fayoum | EGYNews (Arabic)


IFC plans up to $2 bln investment in Egyptian infrastructure, power
The World Bank’s development arm plans to invest between $1.2 billion and $2 billion in Egypt over the next four years, including around the Suez Canal, its regional director said. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is looking at ports and logistics projects, according to Mouayed Makhlouf, the IFC’s director of Middle East and North Africa. Besides infrastructure and energy projects, IFC is working with United Arab Emirates’ renewable energy company Masdar and Saudi Arabia-based power and water project developer ACWA Power, in which it invested $100 million in last year, on up to three or four renewable energy projects in Egypt, Makhlouf said. IFC plans to contribute between $300 million and $500 million per year over the next four years in different sectors, but mainly infrastructure and energy. Makhlouf said, “I have noticed a huge change in the way private investors are looking at Egypt and the government is on the right track to make it easier for investors to come in and add value by improving the investment climate.” [Ahram Online, Reuters, 4/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s market ends week in green | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to face mandatory maritime inspections | Al Monitor
  • Egypt’s MIDOR signs $1.4 billion deal to expand refinery | Ahram Online, DNE
  • As government gets on board, solar prepares to shine in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Prime minister to take measures to promote trade in Port Said | SIS
  • Sisi approves deal with Islamic Development Bank | SIS


Religious leaders address jihad and reform of religious discourse
According to Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Islamic concept of jihad has been misused for the alleged goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate. “There are people who manipulated the concept of jihad and the minds of our youth with glamorous slogans of sharia and the Islamic caliphate,” al- Tayyeb said in his weekly message on Thursday. He said that applying the term to impose control over others would be “a jihad in the name of the devil and a satisfaction of personal whims.” Minister of Religious Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said that the renewal of religious discourse conference slated for May will bring about a national memorandum to define the proper mechanisms for reform. The memorandum will be drafted in partnership with clergy, scholars, writers, intellectuals, statesmen, and media professionals. [MENA, Shorouk (Arabic), 4/10/2015]

Nobel laureate Tawakkol Karman attacked after praising Egyptian army
Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Kerman has responded to the criticism she faced after praising the Egyptian armed forces, saying that “[Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah cannot disturb international navigation, as the Egyptian army and other Arab troops are present in the Bab al-Mandab strait.” The Egyptian media and internet users criticized Karman after she had condemned the Egyptian army’s clashes with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. On that occasion, she said that the overthrow of Morsi by the military “marks a fatal blow to democracy in the Arab world.” [Egypt Independent, 4/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Eight NGOs call to amend election laws to provide fair representation for women | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy signs book deal | AP


Egypt militant group confirms chief’s killing
The Egyptian militant group behind a deadly Cairo bombing earlier this week has appointed a new leader after his predecessor was killed in a police shootout, while a separate group operating in the Sinai Peninsula claimed the killing of two police officers. The group known as Ajnad Misr, or “Egypt’s Soldiers,” said on its Twitter account late Thursday that Izzeddin al-Masri has succeeded Hammam Mohamed Attia, who was killed Sunday, just hours before a bomb on a bridge in central Cairo killed a policeman and wounded at least two passers-by. [AFP/Ahram Online, AP, 4/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Interior ministry arrests forty-three Brotherhood affiliates nationwide | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt calls on anti-ISIS coalition to intervene in Libya
An aide to Egypt’s foreign minister has called on the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) to intervene against the militant group in Libya, as it has previously done in Syria and Iraq. Ambassador Abdel-Rahman Salah said that “terrorism should be dealt with comprehensively wherever it exists,” according to a foreign ministry statement issued on Thursday. Salah, who took part in a meeting with the anti-IS alliance in Jordan on Wednesday, said that any military action against the militant group should aim to crush it, not merely force it to move its base of operations. [Ahram Online, 4/10/2015]

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agree on firms to conduct the Renaissance Dam studies
Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy said that the Egyptian delegation participating in the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam negotiations is making every effort to defend the country’s interests. Water ministers in Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan selected on Thursday two international consultancy firms to conduct studies determining the impact of the dam, which has caused tensions over regional Nile river water shares. According to a joint statement, the officials agreed on hiring “two European consultancies” for the mission without specifying the names of the firms. A source inside the Egyptian irrigation ministry said earlier on Thursday that both the French Artelia group and another Dutch company might be signed. Moghazi said that the studies would begin in May and conclude within eleven months, describing the agreement as “a step forward in the march of cooperation between the three states.” [Ahram Online, DNE, AMAY, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 4/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt and Saudi top defense officials discuss Yemen | Aswat Masriya
  • 1,150 Egyptians returned from Yemen, says foreign ministry | Aswat Masriya
  • Australia to return seventeen ancient artifacts to Egypt | Mada Masr
  • Matrouh security says 117 Egyptians returned from Libya via Salloum Crossing | EGYNews (Arabic)