Tahrir October 19.JPG

Marches towards Tahrir Square have begun in neighborhoods around Cairo with the end of Friday prayers. Some have already reached the square. Protesters are demonstrating against the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. 


Katatny and Erian face off in Friday’s FJP elections
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is set to vote on a new party chairman today. According to the party, 1,118 members will cast their vote in the internal elections on Friday afternoon. Chairman Essam El-Erian and Secretary-General Saad El-Katatni are both vying for the position. BREAKING: El-Katatny wins the chairmanship of the party, and the FJP approves Morsi’s resignation as chairman. [Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), 10/19/2012]

Public prosecutor investigates Morsy office for phone tapping; office denies reports
Public Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud has opened investigations into claims made by Essam al-Erian, acting head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, who alleged that President Mohamed Morsy’s administration engages in phone tapping and secretly records all of its meetings for security reasons. Mahmoud sent a message to the head of the president’s office on Thursday asking if Erian himself is involved in making such recordings. [Egypt Independent, 10/18/2012]

Four women removed from high-profile posts
The National Council for Women (NCW) has condemned the removal of women from high profile posts in Egypt’s governorates. In a statement released Thursday, director of the NCW’s press office, Abeer Abul Ella, condemned the sacking of Ahlam Abdel Aal, secretary of the deputy Ismailia governor, Salwa Al-Ashiri, head of a local government office in a city named Santa, in the Gharbeya governorate and Aziza Mahmoud, who holds a leading post in a monastery in the Qaliubiya governorate. Abul Ella said the NCW’s own lawyers found there was no viable reason for these three to be removed. [DNE, 10/18/2012]


Constituent Assembly official asks court to repeat all hearings before verdict on assembly’s fate
Amr Darrag, secretary general of the Constituent Assembly, has asked the Administrative Court to repeat all its hearings of lawsuits against the Assembly. A number of parties have filed suits against the assembly in an effort to have the body dissolved. The court had already finished hearing all of the arguments and had planned to issue its verdict on Tuesday. [Egypt Independent, 10/18/2012]

17 parties create a coalition to "purge the judiciary" and oppose the Attorney General
Seventeen political parties and revolutionary movements announced on Friday the establishment of a new entity called the " Revolutionary Coalition to Purge the Judiciary" in order to remove Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud from his position. The coalition aims to provide the opportunity for a new prosecutor to take the mantle of the revolution, attacking corruption without fear or hesitation. The coalition consists primarily of leftist and Islamist groups. [EGYNews (Arabic), 10/19/2012]


Lights out as Egypt plans to pull plug on all night shopping
Minister of Local Development Ahmed Zaki has warned that the government is considering legislation that would see shops close at 10pm and restaurants at midnight. "Tourist establishments" with a special licence such as hotels and bars, would be exempt. The proposal aimed at saving electricity and increasing productivity, which could come into force at the end of the month, has sparked heated debate, some self-examination and much mockery. [AFP/Ahram Online, 10/19/2012]


Junior policemen demand medical care, fair treatment
Approximately 300 policemen from across Egypt protested in front of the Interior Ministry headquarters in Cairo Wednesday. The protesters were not wearing their uniforms and voiced diverse demands. Ahmed Mostafa, secretary general of the Policemen’s Coalition, which was formed following ex-President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster to defend the rights of lower-ranking policemen, said the goal of the protest is to demand medical care for lower ranks at police or other hospitals and the establishment of a syndicate for them. [Egypt Independent, 10/18/2012]


Friday prayers end, marches toward Tahrir begin
Marches towards Tahrir Square have begun in neighborhoods around Cairo with the end of Friday prayers. Some have already reached the square. Protesters are demonstrating against the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. Liberals, leftist and revolutionary figures are calling the day of protests “Egypt for all Egyptians.” [Egypt Independent, AP, EGYNews (Arabic), 10/19/2012]

Coptic Church introduces five finalists for upcoming papal poll
A media campaign has been launched with the aim of introducing the five final candidates in the Coptic Orthodox Church’s upcoming papal elections, church spokesman Bishop Paul announced on Wednesday. The campaign includes pre-recorded interviews with the candidates that have already begun airing on Egypt’s three official Coptic television channels. Other non-Coptic channels are also welcome to broadcast the interviews, as long as they obtain the church’s permission to do so. See article for a list of the candidates and bios. [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/18/2012]


US Cairo embassy urges safety precautions for citizens
The US Embassy in Cairo has urged American nationals to take increased safety measures, citing the unstable security situation in the country. “Due to a recent cluster of criminal incident reporting, US Embassy Cairo reminds US citizens to remain vigilant in the course of their daily business in Egypt,” the Embassy said in a message to US citizens in Egypt. [Egypt Independent, 10/18/2012]

Photo Credit: Mai Shaheen/Ahram Online