Top News: Egypt Wins Non-Permanent UN Security Council Seat

Egypt secured a non-permanent UN Security Council seat for the fifth time on Thursday with 179 out of 193 votes. Following the announcement, Spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abuzeid said on Twitter Egypt will work “vigorously” to defend and support African and Arab priorities at the Security Council. “Through UNSC membership, Egypt will strive to support and promote peace and security across the globe and uphold the principles of the UN charter,” Abo Zeid added. Egypt ran for the North Africa seat unopposed and now represents Africa along with Senegal. A statement from Egypt’s presidency said that Egypt’s election to the UN Security Council reflects trust of the international community in Cairo to play a vital role during a critical time of history. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry echoed the statement saying that it reflected the international community’s trust in Egypt after the June 30 revolution, he said. He added, “Egypt got today’s honorable results thanks to its cadres and their skills.” [Ahram Online, DNE, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Cairo Post, 10/15/2015]


Electoral silence period in effect as of Friday noon
With voting in the first phase of Egypt’s parliamentary elections expected to begin abroad on Saturday, the electoral silence period starts Friday at noon. Spokesperson of the High Elections Committee (HEC) Omar Marwan said the committee “will take strict measures including the exclusion of candidates violating the rules.” More than 185,000 armed forces members are set to participate in securing the upcoming elections with the police, the general command of the armed forces announced on Thursday. Security forces will secure 18,945 polling stations in the first round. Minister of Local Development Ahmed Zaki Badr also said Friday that preparations for the first phase are complete. [Cairo Post, SIS, 10/16/2015]

Egypt’s parliamentary campaigns lack concrete economic policy
Few if any political parties or coalitions running in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, which will take place on Sunday, have provided a clear economic platform. Forty percent of the members of front runner For the Love of Egypt (FLE) list belong to liberal parties that support a free market economy. According to one candidate on the list, FLE is averse to an economic policy with “socialist leanings.” The Nour Party said in its campaign flyers that the party has a comprehensive developmental program that will ensure that state revenues will return to the treasury and improve the living conditions of the poor and middle classes. A leading figure on the Egypt Call list said that because he knows the list will not win a majority enabling it to form a government, it has decided not to offer an integrated economic vision. However, he did say, “[List members] have ideas for boosting the economy, removing obstacles facing investors, fighting corruption, and collecting taxes efficiently.” [Aswat Masriya, 10/16/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Five years on, Egypt’s revolutionary youth abstain from elections | Aswat Masriya
  • Petroleum ministry names Mohamed al-Masry head of EGPC | Ahram Online, Reuters
  • Sisi looms large over Egypt vote | AFP
  • Sisi walks fine line between Egypt’s tycoons and generals | Reuters
  • Prime Minister says parliamentary polls important step in Egypt’s future | SIS
  • Is parliament the best way for expat Egyptians to be involved in politics? | Mada Masr
  • Why some in Egypt are banning campaign photos of female candidates | Al Monitor


Egypt negotiates with IMF over $5.5 billion loan for budget support
Egypt is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $5.5 billion loan to support the state budget, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said on Thursday. Egypt has embarked on a fiscal reform program in the hopes of reducing the budget’s widening financing gap. The IMF estimates the country’s financing gap at $20 billion over the next two years, IMF Director for the Middle East and North Africa Masood Ahmed said during annual meetings in Peru last week. [Ahram Online, 10/15/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s stocks plunge after pound devaluation | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to launch administrative capital, north coast city projects at end of October | Ahram Online
  • EGP 310 million spent on Karama and Takaful programs says Social Solidarity Minister | DNE
  • Some ‘sovereign bodies’ commit financial irregularities says Central Auditing head | AMAY
  • Egypt weakens pound as forex crisis looms | Reuters
  • Minister announces opening four irrigation projects worth EGP 321 million | SIS
  • Ministerial economic group reviews negotiations with WB on $3 billion loan | SIS


Dispute inside NCHR over Sinai mission
The National Council for Human Rights is currently in the midst of an internal dispute involving its Sinai office. The Sinai unit, headed by Salah Salam, was caught off guard by an NCHR mission dispatched to the peninsula without its knowledge. Salam had already sent a fact-finding mission to inspect human rights violations in January, after which a statement was issued with recommendations. The recommendations have yet to be implemented. While an informed source has said that the second mission aimed to follow up on the implementation of these recommendations, Salam says he was not informed about the recent visit and was surprised to receive a phone call from the North Sinai governor inquiring about the NCHR mission. Salam said he was not aware of the objectives of the dispatched mission. “We issued a report with a number of important observations and recommendations to prevent the aggravation of the crisis, as the situation was not good,” Salam said. He added, “We spotted the displacement of more than 1,800 families. The number has currently doubled,” he added. [AMAY, 10/16/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Thirty-five percent of preparatory stage students in Egypt are illiterate says Millennium Goals report | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s Virus C: Organized virus, disorganized state | DNE
  • Gamal Mubarak arrives in Cairo with wife, newborn | AMAY
  • Satellite images show smoke clouds over Delta due to rice straw burning | Cairo Post
  • Egyptians and Americans partner to raise awareness on breast cancer | Cairo Post
  • 535.6 acres in North Sinai allocated to New Rafah | Cairo Post
  • BDS Egypt calls for protest stand in Cairo to support Palestinian ‘intifada’ | Ahram Online
  • Protesting poor garbage collection, Obour residents throw litter outside municipality | AMAY
  • High school students continue protests against discipline, attendance marks | AMAY


Three abducted in ISIS attack on Egypt’s Sinai checkpoint
Militants kidnapped three pro-government tribal fighters manning a checkpoint in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, officials said, in an attack claimed by the militants. Two fighters from a tribal militia at the checkpoint were also wounded in the attack in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, security officials and medics said. Sinai State, Egypt’s affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) claimed the attack on a Twitter account, saying a number of tribal fighters were killed. Its claim could not be independently verified. [AFP, 10/15/2015]

Also of Interest:

  • Smuggling of antique manuscripts foiled | AMAY
  • One of us: the militant Egypt’s army fears most | Reuters


Egypt to resume production of tanks after US agreement
Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed al-Assar met Thursday with US Ambassador Robert Stephen Beecroft and Vice Chairman of General Dynamics, Donald Schenk, where they agreed to provide the necessary components to resume the production of tank’s in Egypt. Egypt and the United States had discussed the possibility of increasing cooperation between the two nations, to boost the volume of domestic manufacturing and exchange expertise on the development of military and heavy industry. Located in Helwan, the Egyptian Tank Plant Military Factory manufactures the M1A1 military tanks, an official in the Ministry of Military Production said. Production had recently been halted due to the unavailability of crucial components required for manufacturing. Also during the meeting, Ambassador Beecroft reiterated US support for Egypt’s fight against terrorism. [Aswat Masriya, AMAY, SIS, Cairo Post, 10/15/2015]

Also of Interest

  • 2,000 Palestinians cross the Rafah Border to Gaza | Cairo Post
  • World Bank may compensate Syria’s neighbors for refugee costs | Ahram Online
  • Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh to deliver speech before Italian Parliament | AMAY
  • International conference of Islamic arts to be held in Sharm al-Sheikh | AMAY
  • Sisi reiterates importance of supporting, protecting Palestinian people | SIS
  • Al-Azhar to withhold passports of foreign students | Cairo Post