Top News: Egypt to Hold Parliamentary Elections Starting March 22, 23

Egypt’s top election committee said on Thursday that parliamentary elections will take place in two stages in March and April. Head of the Higher Elections Committee (HEC), Ayman Abbas said the first stage of the vote will take place March 21 to 22 for expats and 22 to 23 for residents in Egypt. 


Egypt to hold parliamentary elections starting March 22, 23
Egypt’s top election committee said on Thursday that parliamentary elections will take place in two stages in March and April. Head of the Higher Elections Committee (HEC), Ayman Abbas said the first stage of the vote will take place March 21 to 22 for expats and 22 to 23 for residents in Egypt. The second stage takes place on April 25 to 26 for expats and April 26 to 27 for Egypt residents. Fourteen Egyptian governorates will vote in the first stage, while eleven governorates, including the capital Cairo, cast their ballots in the second stage. In case a runoff vote is needed, it will take place from March 31 to April 2 for the first stage and May 5 to 7 for the second stage. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Reuters, 1/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt Awakening Alliance close to completing third electoral list | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Tayseer Fahmy, Kamal al-Hilbawy and Sahar al-Hawary among prominent names on Independence Current electoral list | AMAY (Arabic)



Rights organization appeals freeze on activists’ assets
A human rights organization appealed on Thursday the asset freeze ordered for a number of liberal, anti-government activists as part of a list of target politicians mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian Center for Social and Economic Rights said the panel selected by the justice ministry to freeze the assets of more than 100 Brotherhood-allied figures facing charges of violence was illegally formed. [Egypt Independent, 1/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Life and ten year imprisonment sentences in Atamna Police Station storming | Egypt Independent
  • Seven Muslim Brotherhood students referred to military trial in Zaqaziq | AMAY



Oil price slump boosts Egypt fuel subsidy phase-out
As oil prices this week fell to five-year lows of US$50 a barrel, Egypt is benefitting from the lower price. The government expects to spend around US$10 billion on energy subsidies this financial year, petroleum minister Sharif Ismail told the Middle East Economic Survey last month. That is 30 percent less than originally forecast, as lower commodity prices reduce the subsidy needed to guarantee regulated consumer prices. [RTCC, 1/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Italy’s Eni signs new exploration license in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Circle Oil receives $15 million payment from Egyptian government | TradeArabia
  • Egypt says wheat stocks enough to last until early May | Reuters
  • Egypt’s GASC buys 180,000 tonnes of French wheat | Reuters



Egypt’s Copts Coalition submits Sectarian Strife Law to Pope Tawadros
A delegation of Egypt’s Copts Coalition on Thursday submitted a draft law on sectarian strife to Pope Tawadros II, who promised to study it and set a date to discuss it with them.  The delegation said it is also meeting with Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb on Tuesday to discuss the draft. The draft consists of twelve articles, most notably an article that emphasizes the freedom of belief and religious conversion as of the age of twenty-one under guidance sessions by a sheikh of Al-Azhar, a priest, and a judge. It also contains an article that regulates freedom of religious practice in accordance with the Egyptian law. The draft criminalizes contempt of all religions, affirms non-discrimination in all aspects of life of the Egyptian citizen and bans the withholding of any job or promotion in the public and military sectors on sectarian basis. [Egypt Independent, 1/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Media celebrates Sisi’s Christmas greetings, but analysts say it’s not enough | Mada Masr
  • Despite government statement, many Egyptians divided on Charlie Hebdo killings | Mada Masr
  • Three Muslim Brotherhood marches in Alexandria chanting January 25 slogans | EGYNews (Arabic)



100 houses cleared on day one in second phase of Sinai “buffer zone”
Egyptian authorities cleared 100 houses and destroyed twelve others on Thursday on the first day of expanding the “buffer zone” between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, which will expand the zone by 500 meters, bringing the total size of the buffer zone to one kilometer wide and almost fourteen kilometers long along the border with Gaza. A total of 1,220 houses sheltering around 2,044 families exist in the “buffer area” to be cleared, state-run MENA reported, adding that the second phase is expected to be concluded during this week. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 1/9/2015]

Policeman shot dead in Fayoum
A policeman was killed by shots of unknown assailants on Thursday in the Egyptian governorate of Fayoum. A security source said that Alaa Mohamed, 42, was taking his final law exam at Fayoum University; and that he was shot by unknown assailants as soon as he walked out.  He was transferred to Fayoum general hospital, where he died of his injuries. [Ahram Online, 1/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Blast near Egypt’s Beni Suef directorate; no injuries reported | Ahram Online
  • Security forces arrest terrorist cell allegedly targeting Cairo policemen |EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)



300 Egyptian fishermen fleeing Libya reach their hometown
Eleven boats containing some 300 Egyptian fishermen reached Egypt on Friday after escaping from the Libyan city of Misrata, where armed clashes have been ongoing. Following their escape, the fishermen were reported missing in the Mediterranean Sea due to bad weather conditions and communication between them and their families was temporarily lost. A diplomatic source maintained that the ministry of foreign affairs worked closely with the concerned state institutions to locate the fishermen and secure their return to Egypt. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic), 1/9/2015]