Top News: Egypt Will Be State of Law, New Parliament Will Choose Government: Morsi

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President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday Egypt would be based on the rule of law – not the army or religious leaders – and a new parliament to be elected in a few months would decide on the make-up of the government.


Egypt will be state of law, new parliament will choose government: Morsi
President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday Egypt would be based on the rule of law – not the army or religious leaders – and a new parliament to be elected in a few months would decide on the make-up of the government. "Egypt is on its way to achieving sound governance and a state of law in a framework of a modern civilian state which we all aspire to – a civilian state that is not a military state or a theocratic state, but an institutional civilian state," Morsi told reporters during a visit to Berlin. Asked whether he would be willing to form a "government of national salvation" with the opposition, Morsi said a new parliament would be elected in three to four months and its job would be to choose a new government. [Reuters, ONTV (Arabic Video) 1/30/2013]

Morsi reconsiders state of emergency declaration
Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali on Tuesday announced that, based on security reports, President Morsi is reconsidering the state of emergency imposed in the Canal Zone cities since Monday. Ali also said the emergency state was not meant to prevent peaceful demonstrations. “The emergency state may be canceled, shortened or limited geographically,” he explained. Meanwhile, the Shura Council formed a fact-finding committee to visit the Canal Zone cities and inspect the security situation there. [Egypt Independent, 1/29/2013]

Morsi instructs police to deal with ‘rioters’ with restraint
President Mohamed Morsi met on Tuesday afternoon with the interior minister and other ministry leaders, giving instructions to protect peaceful protesters and act with restraint. As protests continued in Cairo and several other governorates, presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said Morsi told the Cabinet officials that police should deal with troublemakers, rioters and outlaws using restraint and in accordance with the law. Scores of demonstrators in the capital on Tuesday evening blocked the 6 October Bridge and lit tires to disrupt traffic. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 1/30/2013]

In turnaround, Egypt’s Baradei calls for dialogue with presidency
After shunning earlier invitations by President Mohamed Morsi to hold talks aimed at resolving Egypt’s current political crisis, Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the leaders of the National Salvation Front (NSF) opposition umbrella group, has called for a meeting with Morsi and various political players. The Salafi Watan Party commended Dostour Party head Mohamed ElBaradei for his proposal of a dialogue between President Mohamed Morsi, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, and representatives from the Freedom and Justice Party, Salafi parties and the National Salvation Front. [AP, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, Al Jazeera (Arabic), 1/30/2013]

Nour Party head reaches out to ‘uncorrupted’ NDP members, announces plan to resolve political impasse
The head of the Salafist Nour Party, Yousef Makhioun, said on Tuesday his view that not all of the former members of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) were involved in corruption. "The old regime can be split into two groups; one that corrupted political life and another that belonged to the NDP but that remained uncorrupted," said Makhioun at a press conference held at the Movenpick Hotel in Cairo. The Nour Party has also proposed a three-point plan aimed at ending the country’s current political crisis. The plan calls for legislation regulating marches and demonstrations; a ‘national reconciliation’ initiative aimed at ending recent political violence; and improvements to how the administration of President Mohamed Morsi deals with the media. [Ahram Online, DNE, 1/29/2013]

Also of Interest:

Govt source: Qandil to maintain office until parliamentary elections | Egypt Independent
Suez governor may lift curfew | Ahram Online
Al-Dustur Party calls for protest | DNE
Ministers agree to raise pensions from 15% to 20% | EGYNews (Arabic)


Government to prepare report on contentious Constitution articles
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil on Tuesday commissioned Minister of State for Parliamentary Councils Omar Salem to prepare a report on the disputed articles of the Constitution, and on the Cabinet’s proposals as to how to implement the recommendations coming out of the national dialogue called for by President Mohamed Morsi. One such recommendation was to form a committee of five law experts and five politicians to prepare a report on the controversial articles of the new Constitution. Monday’s national dialogue session, which was chaired by Morsi, also recommended the formation of a committee to amend the Constitution. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, 1/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Public Funds Prosecution summons former ministers over Alexandria chalets | Egypt Independent


IMF loan negotiations continue despite violence
Finance Minister Morsi Hegazy said on Wednesday that talks with the International Monetary Fund are progressing, despite violence plaguing several governorates across the country that has resulted in at least 53 deaths. The ministry is revising its proposed framework for economic reform in light of new amendments, Hegazy said in a press release Wednesday. Egypt is seeking a US$4.8 billion loan to bolster foreign reserves and decrease the government’s swelling budget deficit. Hegazy added that he had met EU delegation Chief James Moran on Tuesday to discuss the country’s economic health. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 1/30/2013]

Also of Interest:

Egypt wheat stocks to last until 22 June: GASC | Ahram Online/Reuters
Egypt Stocks Rise From Month Low on Dialogue Calls to End Unrest | Bloomberg
Egypt tightens oversight of petrol stations to offset diesel shortages | Ahram Online


MOI considers arming security forces
The Ministry of Interior is considering arming security forces guarding vital state institutions with live ammunition, a security official at the ministry has told Daily News Egypt. According to the source, a delegation of police officers met Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim to request to be issued with live birdshot ammunition. Police say they are being targeted with birdshot themselves, in addition to Molotov cocktails and thrown rocks, and are unable to protect important state institutions with tear gas alone. Media reports claimed Ibrahim agreed to the officers’ demands, however this was denied by a security official at the ministry, who said the minister is still considering the demands. [DNE, 1/30/2013]

Also of Interest:
Two protesters shot dead in Cairo on Wednesday | Ahram Online, DNE
Egypt authorities arrest Port Said man captured on video shooting policemen | Ahram Online  


Black Bloc must die, say Jihad and Jama’a al-Islamiya
The Islamist party of the Jihad Organization and Jama’a al-Islamiya has said the ways of dealing with banditry specified in the Quran must be applied to Black Bloc members, which means they must be killed. “God orders us to kill, crucify or cut off the hands and feet of those who spread mischief on earth,” said Jama’a al-Islamiya Mufti Abdel Akhar Hammad, citing a verse from the Quran. “The president must give that order.” Mohamed Samra of the Jihad Organization said that the Black Bloc group is financed from abroad and must be killed, and that the National Salvation Front members must be arrested and charged with incitement to riot. [Egypt Independent, 1/30/2013]

Also of Interest:
Ahram reporter assaulted by police at Cairo clashes | Ahram Online
April 6th condemns violence


Merkel urges Egypt’s Morsi to hold crisis dialogue
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Egypt’s Islamist president on Wednesday to open a dialogue with all political forces in the crisis-ridden Arab country after a week of violence that has killed more than 50 people. Morsi will be meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and attending the Egyptian-German Business Forum where 280 business figures will be in attendance. He is then meeting with the European Parliament speaker and the chairman of the German Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, before he pays a visit to the Körber Research Foundation and returns to Cairo on the same day. Global human rights organization Amnesty International organized a protest in Berlin on Wednesday to coincide with President Mohamed Morsi’s visit to Germany, according to German news agency DPA. [Reuters, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 1/30/2013]

Clinton: “jury’s out” on Morsi
Outgoing United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her opinion on President Mohamed Morsi during an interview with Fox News, saying: “the jury’s out… it’s not what somebody says; it’s what they do.” Clinton’s statements came days before the end of her term as US Secretary of State. She said: “I think he has a lot of the right intentions.” She added that there are things that he has done which the US has approved of and other things it did not approve of, such as “abrogating a lot of power unto himself personally, reinstating emergency law provisions that had been a hallmark of the Mubarak regime.” [DNE, Al Jazeera (Arabic), 1/30/2013]

Also of Interest:

Egypt’s Morsi cancels trip to Paris | Ahram Online
US Embassy closes doors amid violence | Egypt Independent

Photo: AP

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