Top News: FJP MPs from last Parliament return to campaign trail, predict winning 55% of the seats

Alexandria Clashes Jan 19 AP.jpg

The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) plans to field 60 percent of its MPs from the last Parliament as candidates in the next parliamentary elections. The names of the individual runners would be announced within three days, the FJP said.


FJP: New evidence could mean death penalty for Mubarak
The Freedom and Justice Party’s legal committee claims that new evidence that will be presented in the retrial of former President Hosni Mubarak may lead to him being sentenced to death. The party’s legal committee chairman Mokhtar al-Ashry said that new evidence has been presented to the fact-finding committee formed by President Mohamed Morsi to investigate the killing of protesters during the revolution. In the meantime, the courts have decided to issue a ruling on 18 March on the appeal filed by former President Hosni Mubarak and two of his former officials,  former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, against their guilty verdict for cutting mobile phone and internet service during the January 2011 uprising. [Egypt Independent, 1/21/2013]

FJP MPs from last Parliament return to campaign trail
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) plans to field 60 percent of its MPs from the last Parliament as candidates in the next parliamentary elections. The names of the individual runners would be announced within three days, the FJP said. “We are nominating those who had a good track record in the last Parliament,” said Nagi Naguib of the party’s supreme body. “Some of them are Coptic Christians.” Additionally, a leading figure with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party projected the party winning 55 percent of seats in the House of Representatives during the next elections in April. Naguib also said the FJP is no longer negotiating with other parties to join coalitions.  [Egypt Independent, 1/22/2013]

Nour Party: We will never ally with Brotherhood
The Salafi Nour Party would never form a coalition with the Freedom and Justice Party or the Muslim Brotherhood, said on Monday Yasser Borhamy, the vice chairman of the Salafi Dawah in Alexandria. Jama’a al-Islamiya and its political arm the Construction and Development Party also said that they wouldn’t ally with the FJP in the upcoming parliamentary elections. As the countdown for the legislative poll begins, however, uncertainty looms over the chances of the nascent Salafi alliance, consisting of an offshoot from the nation’s largest ultra-orthodox party and the followers of a former hardline presidential hopeful. [Egypt Independent, 1/21/2013]

Egypt’s Shura council approves controversial new elections law
Egypt’s Shura council approved a new parliamentary elections law on Saturday sending it to the High Constitutional Court (HCC) for revision. The HCC has forty-five days to determine the constitutionality of articles in the new law. The Shura Council rejected a proposal which mandates that winning electoral lists must include at least one Christian candidate, and that at least one woman be included in the first half of each electoral list. The council also voted down a proposal for the replacement of current 50+1 system with a majority win system. The National Front for Egypt’s Women announced its rejection of the draft elections law on Sunday, which does not guarantee any representation for women. [Ahram Online, DNE, SIS, 1/19/2013]

Also of Interest:
Free Egyptians Party support al-Azhar Defense Front | DNE
Nour Party launches tourism campaign | Egypt Independent, DNE
Major representation disparities in new Parliament, says study | Egypt Independent


Public Prosecution claims to have new evidence in Port Said case
The Public Prosecution has said that it has new evidence regarding the Port Said football violence, which it is forwarding to the Port Said Criminal Court Tuesday, according to prosecution spokesperson Hassan Yassin. However, a judicial source has said that the court will ultimately decide whether or not to accept the new evidence. The court is trying 73 suspects for murder in the aftermath of last year’s violence in Port Said after a Premiere League match between al-Ahly and al-Masry, in which 72 people, almost all Ahly supporters, were killed. Hundreds of Ultras Ahlawy staged protests on Monday outside the Alexandria Security Directorate, a few days before the scheduled verdict. Similar protests were also organized Monday evening in front of the Suez Governorate headquarters. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, 1/22/2013]

More ‘insulting president’ lawsuits under Morsi than Mubarak
There were four times as many ‘insulting the president’ lawsuits during President Mohamed Morsi’s first 200 days in office than during the entire 30-year reign of former president Hosni Mubarak. This is the claim made by Gamal Eid, human rights lawyer and executive director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI). Moreover, the number of such lawsuits during the Morsi era is more than during the entire period dating back to 1909 when the law was introduced (originally for ‘insulting the king’), Eid said via Twitter. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 1/20/2013]

Public prosecutor to investigate Mubarak family, others for money laundering
Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah requested on Monday a list of names of former regime figures implicated in money laundering crimes in order to refer them to trial. The Supreme State Security Prosecution and the Public Funds Prosecution are to assemble the lists. Judicial sources say they would likely be comprised of 26 suspects, including ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal, his wife Suzanne and several former ministers.[Egypt Independent, 1/21/2013]

Also of Interest:
Prosecutor general investigates ‘defamation of Islam’ charges against Eissa | Egypt Independent
Egypt’s Constitution seen to curtail labor rights and workers freedoms | Egypt Independent
Court withholds ruling on renationalization of companies | Egypt Independent
Ain Shams students press charges against three professors | Egypt Independent
Military court sentences Youssef Nada | DNE
Court rejects former minister’s request to be released from prison | Egypt Independent


Government to lift diesel subsidies for tourism sector in May
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf al-Araby has announced that the Cabinet will remove subsidies on diesel fuel sold to the tourism sector starting in May. “There have been negotiations with tourism authorities, such as the Tourism Chambers Union and the Ministry of Tourism, on removing subsidies for diesel oil,” Araby told the official MENA news agency on Tuesday. [Egypt Independent, 1/22/2013]

Analysts look to IMF loan deal as Egypt pound slumps
The Egyptian pound continued its downward trend on Monday after hitting another record low in the wake of a Sunday currency auction held by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). The auction’s cut-off price was LE6.58 to the dollar, a 0.1 per cent fall from a Thursday foreign-currency auction. The CBE announced that it had sold $74 million at Sunday’s auction, some $1 million short of the $75 million of offer. [Ahram Online, 1/21/2013]

Also of Interest:
Government denies link between mobile card price increase, new taxes | Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic)
Development bank sees growth pick up in E.Europe and N.Africa | Reuters
Egypt’s central bank allows foreign currency facilities for importers | Ahram Online
‘Islamic’ bonds to generate $10 billion in revenue: Egypt FM | Ahram Online


Sinai tribes give ultimatum on land ownership ban
Sinai tribes will give the government until 30 January to cancel the defense minister’s decree banning land ownership in the eastern border area — otherwise, they will revolt, tribal sources said on Monday. The tribes threaten to block the international road to Rafah and roads leading to the industrial area in central Sinai until their demands are met, the sources added.[Egypt Independent, 1/22/2013]

Armed Forces publish deeds to Qursaya properties
The Armed Forces distributed copies of title deeds to properties on Qursaya Island for military correspondents to publish on Monday, in an effort to prove that the military owns that contested land. The deeds are for four plots of land totally 25 acres, which are considered to be military areas of strategic importance.  “Anyone who has documents proving his ownership of those plots should reveal them,” said military spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali, adding that the “Armed Forces will harm no Egyptian.” [Egypt Independent, SIS, 1/21/2013]

Further allegations of police torture
A man has claimed he was tortured in Sheikh Zayed police station, the latest in a string of allegations against police. Abdel Hamid Mohamed also claimed to have been falsely accused of escaping from custody. Mohamed claimed he was returning home to 6th of October City last week using public transport when he was asked to show identification at a checkpoint. Protests have also taken place in the Delta governorate of Daqahlia against alleged police brutality.[DNE, Egypt Independent, 1/20/2013]

Also of Interest:
Assiut police threaten strike over ‘inhumane’ treatment | Ahram Online
Interior Ministry to secure Tahrir, but not from within | Egypt Independent, DNE


Dozens arrested following clashes in Alexandria
Dozens of people have been arrested following clashes outside a court in Alexandria where police officers were on trial for the killing of protesters during the January 25 Revolution. Fighting erupted on Sunday between protesters and security forces after the trial judges announced they would step down just one day before they were due to deliver their verdict. Hakim Abdel-Naim, a revolutionary socialist and student activist, told Ahram Online that security forces were conducting a crackdown on activists in downtown Alexandria following the clashes. "Many people were arrested after the clashes. The interior ministry was arresting people randomly, dragging them out of cafes or even their cars," Abdel-Naim said. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 1/21/2013]

Journalists accuse Giza Zoo guards of assault
Eight journalists have filed police reports against security guards at Giza Zoo for allegedly assaulting them while they were covering Sunday’s fire. Reporters from al-Badil, al-Tahrir, al-Youm El-Sabe’ and al-Wady newspapers claim they were hit by security guards and prevented from entering the zoo to cover the blaze. They also claim the guards threatened to break their cameras. On Sunday afternoon, a fire started in a forested area at the zoo and spread to the animal food warehouse, causing minor damage. [Ahram Online, 1/21/2013]

Also of Interest:
April 6 clashes with police at Qandil’s house | Egypt Independent, Ahram Online
Coptic movements to protest against ‘regime’ on 25 Jan | Egypt Independent


Morsi: We respect Saudi rulings in cases of detained Egyptians
President Mohamed Morsi said Monday that he had discussed the issue of detained Egyptians with Saudi officials, but rejected more robust attempts to challenge the kingdom on the issue. "We don’t accept intervention in judicial rulings," he said. He further added that the number of Egyptians detained in Saudi Arabia has decreased to 24 from 176. Nonetheless, the wife of Ahmed al-Gizawi, the Egyptian lawyer sentenced last week to five years in jail and 300 lashes in Saudi Arabia, called on President Mohamed Morsi to demand her husband’s pardon during his visit to the kingdom on Monday. However, Morsi left for Saudi Arabia on Sunday without attending or sending a delegation to a scheduled meeting with the family of Ahmed Al-Gizawy. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, 1/22/2013]

Morsi opposed to Mali military intervention
President Mohamed Morsi told fellow Arab leaders meeting in Riyadh on Monday that he opposes French-led military action in Mali against Islamist rebels. "We do not accept at all the military intervention in Mali because that will fuel conflict in the region," Morsi said at the opening of an economic summit in the Saudi capital. He argued any intervention in Mali "should be peaceful," and called for funding on "development" in the African nation. [Egypt Independent/AFP, Reuters, 1/21/2013]

Also of Interest:

Morsi to visit Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Europe at end of month | Egypt Independent
US wants more from Morsi on ‘anti-Israel’ rhetoric | Ahram Online

Photo: Egyptian police and protesters clash outside a courtroom in Alexandria, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (AP)

Image: Alexandria%20Clashes%20Jan%2019%20AP.jpg