Top News: In Alleged Leak, Shafiq says Presidential Elections will be Rigged

Ahmed Shafiq has questioned the wisdom of a Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ (SCAF) nomination of its top general – Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – for the upcoming presidential elections, according to an alleged leaked phone call attributed to the former presidential candidate. The authenticity of the sound clips attributed to Shafiq could not be independently verified.


In alleged leak, Shafiq says presidential elections will be rigged
Ahmed Shafiq has questioned the wisdom of a Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ (SCAF) nomination of its top general – Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – for the upcoming presidential elections, according to an alleged leaked phone call attributed to the former presidential candidate. The authenticity of the sound clips attributed to Shafiq could not be independently verified. Shafiq commented that it is a “bizarre and ignorant decision” for SCAF to nominate Sisi for the presidency. The voice believed to be that of Shafiq cast doubt on Sisi’s political experience as well as his candidacy for the presidency. The voice appears to warn that SCAF may lose credibility and popularity by nominating its top leader to the burdensome post of president. The speaker during the call also commented that these elections would likely be rigged. “Is this the manly thing to do? Is this a fair fight?” Meanwhile, the Egyptian army has denied Al-Masry Al-Youm’s claim that its engineering authority is supervising the drafting of Sisi’s election manifesto. [Mada Masr, Ahram Online, 3/13/2014]

Presidential elections to end before July; Sami Anan will not run
Egypt’s interim President Adli Mansour said on Wednesday that presidential elections will end before July 17, paving the way for parliamentary elections, the president’s office said. The announcement came one day before Former chief of staff Sami Anan declared in a press conference Thursday that he would not run in the upcoming presidential elections. The former military leader said that he had made the decision with full knowledge of the dangers and “conspiracies” surrounding the Egyptian state and the military institution. Anan said that the decision was his own, with no pressure from anyone else, referring to speculation there may have been influence from Sisi or his supporters. [Aswat Masriya, AP, Mada Masr, EGYNews, 3/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • CAO head: Corruption at state institutions estimated at EGP200 billion | Egypt Independent
  • Sabbahi meets with Norwegian ambassador to clarify his vision on next presidential stage | Shorouk
  • State committee seizes twenty-two Muslim Brotherhood affiliated NGOs | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s president fights for support to limit appeals in presidential poll | Ahram Online


Court sentences Brotherhood members to three months in prison for inciting riots
The Kharga Oasis court in the New Valley governorate on Wednesday sentenced four Muslim Brotherhood members to three months in prison and thirteen others to a week and an EGP100 fine for inciting violent riots on 6 October last year. Unless the public prosecutor appeals the verdict, the thirteen defendants will be released in a few hours, as they already spent the time in detention, waiting for the court to convene. [Egypt Independent, 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Criminal Court begins first session of trial of twenty-three accused of killing Lieutenant Nabil Farag | AMAY
  • Cairo Criminal Court resumes trial of eighteen Brotherhood members for Shubra clashes | AMAY


Arab countries to send oil products to Egypt until September
Arab countries will provide Egypt with aid in the form of petroleum products until at least September, Finance Minister Hany Qadry Dimian said today. “Arab aid for petroleum products offered to Egypt will continue until next September or October,” Dimian said in a text message. [Reuters, 3/13/2014]

Egypt considering increasing taxes on upper class
Egypt is studying a proposal to increase taxes on high earners, as it seeks to cut a budget deficit that’s set to miss this year’s target, the finance minister said.The plan under consideration would impose a 5 percent annual tax on the top incomes for a period of two or three years, Hany Qadry Dimian  told reporters in Cairo today. He didn’t give further details, saying they’ll be be announced if the proposal is adopted. Egypt’s budget deficit in the fiscal year that ends in June is expected to be between 11 percent and 12 percent of gross domestic product, above the 10 percent target, Dimian said. The government aims to bring that down to between 10 and 10.5 percent next year, he said. [Bloomberg, Ahram Online 3/13/2014]


Security forcefully disperse worker’s sit-in at state union federation
Security personnel at the state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) forcefully dispersed a sit-in protest of more than twenty workers from the federation’s headquarters Wednesday. While none of the protesting workers were arrested, a number of minor injuries were reported. This dispersal ends a 34-day sit-in by workers from the Tanta Flax and Oils Company and the Shebin al-Kom Textile Company at ETUF’s headquarters in downtown Cairo to demand the renationalization and reoperation of their stalled companies – in accordance with earlier verdicts issued from the Administrative Courts. [Mada Masr, 3/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Everybody Knows, a new letter from Alaa Abdel Fattah | Mada Masr
  • Rights organizations condemn upholding of Karam Saber’s five-year blasphemy sentence | Shorouk
  • Cairo University SU to ask Egypt PM for release of 1,321 students | Ahram Online


Army blames Brotherhood for fatal attack on army bus in Cairo
Egypt’s army blamed the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood for an attack on an army bus which killed one officer and wounded three others in the capital on Thursday, violence underscoring growing security threats to the military-backed government. According to a military spokesman masked armed men belonging to Brotherhood opened fired on military bus killing an officer, and wounding three others. The Brotherhood denies the claims. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Egypt Independent, AP, Mada Masr, 3/13/2014]

Sinai’s Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis releases video ‘disclaiming’ Egypt’s army statements
The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis released a video clip on YouTube on Wednesday purporting to show its members roaming freely and establishing checkpoints, evidence that it says undercuts the Egyptian army’s recent claims of success against militants in North Sinai. While the authenticity of the video has not yet been confirmed, it was published on YouTube channels that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has used to claim responsibility for a variety of recent attacks, including the failed assassination attempt on the interior minister in September, shooting down a military helicopter in North Sinai in January and the bombing of a police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura last December. [Ahram Online 3/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Authorities arrest Brotherhood-funded terrorist cell in Dakahlia – official | Aswat Masriya
  • Interior Minister: Fifteen terrorist cells apprehended | AMAY


Kerry to decide ‘soon’ on resuming Egypt aid  
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday he will decide “in the days ahead” whether to resume US aid to Egypt after suspending the funds last year over the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and a crackdown against protesters. “We want this interim transitional government to succeed. We are committed to try to help make that happen,” Kerry told lawmakers at a hearing into the State Department’s 2015 budget request. When asked if he would release the aid before Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections Kerry responded, “I can’t absolutely say with certainty, but it’s our hope to be able to do that soon.” [Ahram Online, Reuters, 3/13/2014]

INTERPOL arrests two Egyptian Brotherhood leaders in the Gulf
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have arrested two members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood at Cairo’s request for committing violence in Port Said before fleeing abroad, Egypt’s prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday. According to the prosecutor’s statement, both Islamists leaders are accused of “committing terrorism, violence and inciting the killing of citizens.” They are also accused of plotting a raid on police stations in Port Said. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are among the Gulf nations that have pumped billions of dollars into Egypt since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July following mass protests against him. [Ahram Online, Reuters 3/13/2014]

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