Top News: Mubarak Party Figures Allowed to Run for Parliament; Mortar Attack in Sinai Kills Eight

The Cairo Appeal Court for Urgent Matters ruled on Monday that leading members of deposed president Hosni Mubarak’s political party can run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, militants in northern Sinai fired mortar rounds late Sunday at a military post in the provincial capital of al-Arish, killing a soldier as well as seven civilians, including two children, in a nearby residential complex.


Sisi appropriates 10 percent of ‘special funds’ annual revenues to 2014/15 budget  
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has issued a law to tie 10 percent of special funds annual revenues to the state budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year, Finance Ministry spokesperson Mesbah Qotb told Ahram Online on Monday. “Special funds” are monies raised by state institutions through means other than customs or taxes, such as hospital fees or parking tickets. “The move is not new, the law is issued on an annual basis for each financial year,” Qotb added. In the fiscal year 2013/14, the government took 20 percent of the cumulative balance of special funds for the state budget which amounted to EGP 4.5 billion. [Ahram Online, 7/14/2014]

Also of Interest:


Appeal court rules Mubarak party figures can run for parliament
The Cairo Appeal Court for Urgent Matters ruled on Monday that leading members of deposed president Hosni Mubarak’s political party can run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The verdict overturns an earlier ruling, issued in May, which banned leading members of the now defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) from running in presidential, parliamentary and municipal council elections. The appeal court said the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters did not have jurisdiction to make the original ruling, which should have been made by the administrative court. Judges also said the plaintiff, lawyer Tahany Ibrahim, had not presented substantial evidence to prove corruption by leading members of the NDP. Further investigations should be carried out into the accusations, but this is not in the jurisdiction of the Court for Urgent Matters, the judges added. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 7/14/2014]

Former prime minister Hisham Qandil ordered release from prison
A Cairo court has accepted the appeal presented by former prime minister Hisham Qandil and reversed his one-year jail sentence. In September 2013 the Cairo Misdemeanor Court upheld a ruling against Qandil sentencing him to one year in prison for failing to implement an administrative court’s verdict ordering the re-nationalization of the Tanta Flax and Oil Company. Qandil’s attorney Yasser Mohamed Abdou told Ahram Online that the appellate court’s verdict was final and could not be appealed, adding that his client was not implicated in any other cases and that his release was expected. Ahmed El-Beqaly, attorney general in North Giza, confirmed Abdou’s comments, saying that Qandil will be released once the court verdict is sent to the prosecution office – unless he is on trial or being investigated in other cases. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 7/13/2014]

Also of Interest:


World Bank approves $300 million interest free loan to Egypt
The World Bank has approved a $300 million interest free loan to Egypt to fund micro and small enterprises (MSEs), Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, Egypt’s minister of industry announced on Sunday. Egypt’s government plans to cooperate with the World Bank in building infrastructure for small and medium enterprises, particularly in the impoverished Upper Egyptian governorates, Abdel-Nour said during his meeting with a delegation from the World Bank. He also added that this is the first loan to Egypt from the World Bank since former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, SIS, 7/13/2014]

Chronic power cuts to continue for two or three years: Planning minister
Egypt’s frequent power cuts are likely to continue for two to three years, despite the government’s proposed reforms to the energy sector, Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby told state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper on Saturday. The government has allocated EGP 1.6 billion to the energy sector, of which EGP 1 billion will be spent on developing renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy initiatives, according to Araby, who said this would ease but not solve the problem. [Mada Masr, 7/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Petroleum companies operating in Egypt have reduced gas production: Ministry report | DNE
  • 1,300 MW addition to electricity grid in August may not end power outages: Energy expert | DNE
  • Petroleum Minister: Power outages from old chronic problems | Egypt Independent
  • 20.7 percent decrease in tourist arrivals during May: CAPMAS | DNE
  • Luxor considers establishing EGP 22 million plant to generate solar electricity: Governor | DNE
  • Egypt aims to boost wheat self-sufficiency | DNE
  • Red Sea tourism rises after Germany lifts travel warning: Hotels chamber | DNE
  • Planning Minister: No increase in petroleum products prices | SIS
  • Sisi discusses investment needs in coming phase | SIS
  • Government adopts new electronic system to track progress on development projects | DNE
  • Egypt: 20 new subsidized items to be displayed on market in August | Egypt Independent
  • Administrative reform, social safety net to help economy reach 3.2 percent growth | DNE
  • Dues owed to foreign oil and gas companies reach $6.3 billion in July | DNE


Two protesters killed in Cairo clashes with police
Two protesters were killed on Friday when Egyptian riot police broke up street protests organized by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Violent clashes erupted in the Matariya district in eastern Cairo as dozens of Islamists marched to a local police station, Al-Ahram reported. Security forces scattered the crowds using teargas, arresting several protesters. Sayed Owais, 67, and Mazen Ahmed, 16, were killed in the violence. A pro-Morsi group called for demonstrations across Egyptian cities on Friday to protest a steep rise in fuel prices.  Five people were arrested for organizing illegal protests in Alexandria; another person, who authorities say was in possession of birdshot pellets, was arrested during a demonstration in Giza. [Ahram Online, DNE, 7/11/2014]

Also of Interest:


Eight killed in mortar attack in Egypt’s Sinai
Militants in Egypt’s northern Sinai fired mortar rounds late Sunday at a military post in the provincial capital of al-Arish, killing a soldier as well as seven civilians, including two children, in a nearby residential complex, security and hospital officials said. A senior security official said the attack late Sunday hit the military post, killing one soldier. The military post is located near a compound of residential buildings in the al-Salam district. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said a supermarket, pharmacy and a residential building also were hit by mortar fire. Samy Anwar, the head of al-Arish hospital, said seven civilians were killed in the attack, including a 10-year old girl and a 12-year old boy. He said 24 others were wounded, including an 11-year-old girl. [AP, DNE, Egypt Independent, Reuters, SIS, Mada Masr, 7/13/2014]

Senior al-Jama’a al-Islamiya leaders arrested near Sudan
The Egyptian Coast Guard arrested five senior al-Jama’a al-Islamiya leaders while attempting to flee Egypt via the southern border, a military spokesman announced via Facebook. Former Shura Council member and a founding member of al-Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Building and Development Party, Safwat Abdel-Ghani, was among those arrested late on Sunday. Meanwhile, the pro-Brotherhood National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) said security forces have arrested Nasr Abdel-Salam, the acting head of the Building and Development Party. Last year, prosecutors ordered the arrest Abdel-Ghani, for allegedly inciting violence at the Republican Guard headquarters. [Ahram Online, DNE, 7/14/2014]

Also of Interest:


Egypt’s Sisi warns against Gaza ‘escalation’
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned Saturday that escalating the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza would cost more “innocent lives,” as the death toll continues to climb. Around half a dozen Israelis have been wounded since the start of the week-old offensive, which Gaza health officials say has killed 169 Palestinians, most of them civilians. During a phone conversation with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Sisi also said Egypt’s internal affairs won’t interfere with its pursuit of a just settlement for Palestinians that safeguards their rights and allows the Palestinian people to have a livable state inside the June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said late Saturday that “extensive calls” made by Egypt for an end to the aggression on Gaza are being met with “stubbornness and escalation” by Israel. Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing again on Saturday to receive injured people and permit the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip. The border was opened Thursday for 24 hours before it was closed again, prompting nine political parties and movements to call on Egyptian authorities on Saturday to “indefinitely” open the Rafah border crossing, in the wake of the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza. Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki arrived in Cairo to attend an Arab foreign ministers’ meeting to discuss Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza, and will be meeting with his Egyptian counterpart. [AFP, 7/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egyptians fear Islamist militants gathering on Libyan border | Reuters
  • Egypt foreign minister calls for Arab unity in Iraq | DNE
  • Egypt to offer investment opportunities in Italy | DNE
  • Sisi meets Blair in Cairo over situation in Gaza | Egypt Independent
  • Flights from Cairo to Tripoli stopped for security reasons | Egypt Independent
  • Libyan Intelligence chief arrives in Cairo | Egypt Independent
  • FM will not attend Libya neighboring states meeting to follow up Gaza situation | SIS
  • Ethiopia: Renaissance Dam crisis to be solved through dialogue | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt condemns terror attack in Algeria | SIS
  • Egypt consul to UK stresses need to reach out to European tourists | SIS