Top News: Egypt’s Sisi Wins Presidential Election

Former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won a landslide victory in a presidential election on Thursday but a low turnout may have deprived him of the strong mandate he needs to fix the economy and face down an Islamist insurgency.

Egypt’s Sisi wins presidential election
Former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won a landslide victory in a presidential election on Thursday but a low turnout may have deprived him of the strong mandate he needs to fix the economy and face down an Islamist insurgency. Sisi won 93.3 percent of votes cast, judicial sources said, with most ballots counted after three days of voting. His only rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi, gained 3 percent while 3.7 percent of votes were declared void. A lower-than-expected turnout figure raised questions about the credibility of a man idolized by his supporters as a hero who can deliver stability. While all figures current reported are unofficial, Egypt’s Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) said that voter turnout exceeded 48 percent. The PEC will announce the official numbers on June 3-4 and Sisi is expected to be sworn into office on June 7 or 8. [Reuters, Ahram Online, AP, 5/29/2014]

Free train and bus tickets presented to voters, says transportation ministry
The ministry of transportation announced late Tuesday on its official page that train and Superjet bus tickets would be provided for free to Egyptian citizens who wish to travel to their voting station. In order to obtain the tickets, citizens must present their national identification cards, the ministry added. The ministry pointed out that the free tickets aim to facilitate transportation for Egyptians heading from their workplaces to voting stations. Early Tuesday, the ministry announced that citizens who failed to obtain a train ticket on Tuesday would not be fined. [DNE, Egypt Independent, 5/28/2014]

Sabbahi to hold press conference on electoral results
Leftist presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi will hold a press conference on Thursday at 5pm to comment on the preliminary results of the 2014 presidential elections, which showed that former defense minister and presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has garnered about 93.3 percent of the vote. Sabbahi’s lawyer Abdel Nasser Mohamed appealed to the judicial committee supervising the elections in Aswan immediately after the initial results were announced. Nasser challenged sorting in polling committees number 3, 7, 8, 14, 15, 17, and 18 in Aswan City. Nasser also objected to extending the vote to a third day, saying it was illegal. [Egypt Independent, 5/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi’s tough love message rings harsh for Egyptians | Reuters
  • Low voter turnout galvanizes Islamists in oasis town | Reuters
  • Analysis: In Egypt, a Pyrrhic Landslide Victory | AP
  • Extra day at the polls draws indifferent voters | Mada Masr
  • Tamarod asks new president to honor Adly Mansour | Shorouk (Arabic)


Court to resume trial of fifty-one MB leaders over ‘Rabaa task force’
Giza Criminal Court headed by Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata will resume Thursday the trial of fifty-one Muslim Brotherhood leaders including group Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie in the case known as Rabaa task force. The court will listen today to the prosecutor’s argument. Prosecutors argue that the suspects Badie and his deputy Mahmoud Ghozlan planned a scheme after June 30 to create chaos in the country by breaking into police stations, state establishments, private properties, Coptic places of worship and setting them on fire. The group also allegedly formed a task force to follow on movements of its members and supervise the progress of its scheme. Prosecutors also claims they changed the place of the task force in the aftermath of measures taken by the state upon the protest dispersal so as not to be known by security services. [Egypt Independent, 5/29/2014]

EIPR sues government for subsidizing fuel to factories
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) announced on Wednesday that it is suing the government for subsidizing fuel for factories. The EIPR filed a lawsuit with the administrative court on Saturday against interim President Adly Mansour and interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, each in his professional capacity, calling on them to stop subsidizing fuel to factories. The EIPR stated that such factories have made huge profits off fuel subsidies and gave little in return. It added that cement factories, for instance, have monopolized the product instead of decreasing its prices. [DNE, 5/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Detention of Abu Alaa Madi renewed for forty-five days | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Trial of Douma, other 268 over 2011 cabinet clashes resumes | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s petroleum ministry supplies more fuel to avoid blackouts
Egypt’s ministry of petroleum has announced the provision of 77 million cubic meters of natural gas to electricity stations, a three percent jump in the usual daily consumption. Sherif Ismail, petroleum minister, said that the emergency unit in the ministry has been prepared to provide any station with fuel in case of shortages, to avoid blackouts during the presidential elections. The ministry also supplied 26,000 tons of mazot and 1,000 tons of diesel. [Ahram Online, 5/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Capital gains taxes a positive step, will not weaken competition: Former EGX vice chairman | DNE
  • Egypt stocks falls on tax rumors, election uncertainty | Ahram Online
  • Tourism ministry plans program for discounted summer flights for Egyptians | DNE
  • Government makes 3 major economic decisions during election | Mada Masr
  • New bread subsidy scheme to expand to Cairo suburbs | Mada Masr


Egypt’s Press Syndicate reports media restrictions on third day of voting
In its first statement on the third day of elections, Egypt’s Press Syndicate reported several violations of media freedoms, including barring reporters from covering the vote at polling stations. The syndicate’s operations room received several complaints, the statement said. In Giza, reporters were prevented from covering the electoral process by security using claims that their permits had expired and were only valid for the first two days of elections and not for the extra third day. [Ahram Online, 5/28/2014]

Pro-Morsi coalition calls for “third revolutionary wave
Amid the preliminary results of Egypt’s presidential poll announced on Thursday, a “third revolutionary wave” has been declared by the largest coalition supporting ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. In a press statement, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) requested the military to “step back” and allow the Egyptian people to rule the country. Sources insides the alliance said that detained members of the Muslim Brotherhood will begin a hunger strike protesting the results of recent elections. In related news, Brotherhood supporters marched on al-Haram street on Wednesday evening, disrupting traffic and chanting slogans against the armed forces and the police in expression of their rejection of the presidential elections. Security forces in Damanhour arrested fourteen people participating in an opposition demonstration against the armed forces and police. [Ahram Online, 5/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Fire at Giza Zoo by chimpanzee house | Ahram Online
  • Egypt among world’s fattest countries in new global study | Ahram Online
  • Coalition of youth groups claims ‘Sisi idol’ fell apart in election | Mada Masr


Military source denies referring twenty-four Sabbahi campaign members to military prosecution
A military source denied what was reported on a satellite channel about an official in Hamdeen Sabbahi’s campaign claiming that 24 members of the campaign were referred to military prosecution. The source said the armed forces only referred a man called Ahmed Hanafi Abu Zeid after he insulted officers securing a polling station in Warraq, but dropped charges and solved the problem amicably. The source pointed out that the armed forces do not interfere in the electoral process at all, are not biased to a particular candidate and are there to secure the voting process with the Interior Ministry. [Egypt Independent, 5/29/2014]

Bomb goes off, wounds boy in Cairo suburb
A boy was wounded in a bomb explosion in Cairo’s southern suburb of Helwan on Wednesday, security sources said. Mohamed Atef Shebl, 13, found a plastic bag in al-Geish Street and while exploring its contents, it went off in his hands, as it turned out to be a homemade explosive device. Shebl was wounded in both his hands and transferred to the hospital to be medicated. In Alexandria security forces succeeded in dismantling two bombs in a train station in the east part of the city. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 5/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Three Brotherhood supporters arrested for photographing elections in Giza | AMAY (Arabic)


International election monitors release preliminary statements 
Egypt’s electoral processes were within the framework of law, Mario David, head of the EU’s Elections Observation Mission, announced in a televised press conference on Thursday. “The turnout was 46 percent and the elections took place in a democratic, free, and honest atmosphere.” David also said that PEC’s decision to extend the  two-day vote to a third day was legal and it did not influence the voting process. He added, however, that the absence of the right to appeal the PEC’s decision was inconsistent with constitutional principles. The head of the African Union observing mission, Mohamed al-Amin Walid Jeej, said that the elections were in line with international standards. A representative from the Arab League announced that negatives surrounding the election “did not interfere in the electoral process.” The US-based Democracy International also released its preliminary findings on Egypt’s elections. The report was critical of the environment surrounding the elections saying the “continued suppression of political dissent and restrictions on fundamental freedoms have prevented free political participation and severely compromised the broader electoral environment.” Human Rights Watch (HRW), which was not among the electoral monitors, was also critical of atmosphere surrounding the elections. In a statement released Wednesday, HRW said the elections had been “stripped of any real meaning.” [Aswat Masriya, 5/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • China to dismantle Sphinx replica after Egypt complains | Aswat Masriya
  • Egyptian authorities prevent illegal emigration attempt | DNE