Top News: Mubarak’s Last Prime Minister Shafik Interested in Running for Egyptian Presidency

Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, said in a television interview broadcast on Thursday that he would run for president if the army chief does not contest elections.


Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Shafik interested in running for Egyptian presidency 
Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, said in a television interview broadcast on Thursday that he would run for president if the army chief does not contest elections.”I believe now I will run for the presidency,” Shafik told Al Qahira Wil Nas television, adding that he would compete if army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stayed out of the race that is expected later this year. While the general public is in favor of holding presidential elections first, both Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, the Salafi Nour Party, and the April 6 Movement have come out in favor of holding parliamentary elections first. The Strong Egypt Party, however, said it was too early to determine, saying the decision should be made after the referendum. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Egypt Independent, 1/9/2014]

Beblawy condemns leaked phone calls, MOI denies all blame 
The recent broadcast of leaked telephone conversations represents an “assault on freedom and privacy” and a contravention of journalistic standards, interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy said on Thursday. Television host Abdel Rehim Ali broadcast private phone conversations between prominent activists during his talk show “Black Box” on private satellite channel Al-Qahera Wil Nas in late December and early January. Beblawy condemned the leaks during a press conference following Thursday’s Cabinet meeting. “The government will take the necessary action to request that the public prosecution investigates to determine those responsible for this violation of the law,” Beblawy said. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that the Interior Ministry had nothing to do with the leaked recordings. [Mada Masr, Ahram Gate (Arabic), 1/9/2014]

Also of Interest:
Decision to ground Morsi’s flight was not made in advance: Minister | Ahram Online
Brotherhood party demands UN intervention to end violence against detainees | Aswat Masriya


160,000 soldiers to secure constitutional referendum
Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy’s cabinet reviewed its preparations for the upcoming constitutional referendum. In a press conference on Thursday, Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said the ministry has developed an “intensive plan”, in collaboration with the armed forces, to secure polling stations nationwide. More than 160,000 soldiers and army conscripts will secure the referendum. The security measures would encompass the voters, the judges and employees overseeing the voting process, members of civil society organizations monitoring the polling process and domestic and foreign journalists covering it. Democracy International is the largest international mission observing the elections and will be observing and monitoring in twenty-three out of the twenty-seven governorates, after observers have been extensively briefed. Ibrahim warned that any attempt to “stall the referendum or prevent citizens from casting their votes would be handled with unprecedented force and firmness.” He promised that the two-day referendum would run smoothly and safely and called on citizens to participate in the referendum, adding that it would “launch Egypt as a civilian, democratic state.” [DNE, 1/10/2014]

Also of interest:
Egypt renews detention of Jazeera journalists | Ahram Online, AP, Mada Masr
Douma, Maher and Adel’s appeal adjourned to January 20 | Ahram Online
Harsher penalties for duplicate voting in Egypt referendum | Ahram Online
Brotherhood terrorist decision should be for courts: Salafist leader | Ahram Online
39,000 take part in referendum on constitution abroad | Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic)
Morsi’s defense expects he won’t attend his third trial session | Egypt Independent
Minya court releases forty-eight Morsi supporters on bail | EGYNews (Arabic)
245 Brotherhood supporters in Suhag and Kafr al-Sheikh referred to criminal courts | AMAY (Arabic)


Finance Ministry: Cabinet borrows EGP 17.5 billion from banks this week 
The ministry of finance said that the cabinet borrowed EGP 17.5 billion ($2.5 billion) from banks this week through bonds and treasury bills. According to data issued by the ministry, the cabinet borrowed EGP 5 billion last Sunday in treasury bills. This included bills worth EGP 2 billion for 91 days, the average return of which was 10.3 percent. It also borrowed bills worth EGP 3 billion for 273 days with an average yield of 10.9 percent. On Monday, the ministry offered bonds worth EGP 6 billion. It included zero bonds equal to EGP 2 billion for 1.5 years, bonds worth EGP 2 billion for 5 years, and bonds equal to about EGP 2 billion for 10 years. On Thursday, the ministry offered treasury bills with various terms and worth EGP 6.5 billion. [Egypt Independent, 1/10/2014]

Also of interest:
Planned wage increases fail to placate striking doctors | Ahram Online
Egypt government denies receiving offer from business tycoon Salem | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
Egyptian stock market picks up after Coptic Christmas, postponed Morsi trial | Ahram Online
Economic growth needs to be matched by social aid, says ministry report | Mada Masr


Pro-Morsi protesters clash with security forces across governorates; One killed in Alexandria
Police and army forces tightened security on Friday in Cairo, in anticipation of rallies which the Islamist pro-Morsi National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy called for. Security was heightened at the Raba’a and Mostafa Mahmoud squares, Cairo International Airport and the Mahrousa Mosque in Mohandesseen. Protests witnessed intense clashes with security forces across the nation, with at least one protester shot dead in Alexandria. Security forces dispersed pro-Morsi protests in Giza, Zagazig, Omraneya, Nasr City, Haram, Alexandria, Shubra, Suhag, and Suez. Clashes also broke out between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters in Haram, leaving five injured.  Three protesters were arrested in Suez and thirty-three in Alexandria, with security director Nasser al-Abd telling Aswat Masriya that some of the detained protesters were in possession of firearms. Reports also emerged of Morsi supporters setting fire to a police car in Zaytoun. [Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Online, 1/10/2014]

Also of interest:
Rights groups condemn ‘exploitation of children’ for political purposes | DNE, Shorouk (Arabic)
Medical professions union declares open strike in February | Mada Masr
Rallies staged in Alexandria and Damietta in support of the constitution | EGYNews (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)
Fatwa issued stating that democracy is not blasphemous | SIS, Shorouk (Arabic)
Head of the railway company arrested for evading court rulings | Shorouk (Arabic)


Syrian doctors running Cairo clinic arrested and detained 
A group of Syrian medical professionals were arrested by Egyptian police on Wednesday on charges of running a clinic without the required licenses. Thirteen Syrian medical professionals, including both doctors and nurses, were arrested at Nokhba Medical Center in 6 October city, just outside Cairo, on charges of operating with expired licenses. One elderly male detainee and all six female detainees were released on Thursday, while the other six people were held overnight at a local police station, the sources told Ahram Online. All thirteen were referred to the prosecution on Thursday. [Ahram Online, 1/10/2014]

Egypt arrests American on charges of attacking police stations 
Egyptian airport authorities have arrested an Egyptian-born American who belongs to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood on charges of taking part in violence against the state, security sources said on Thursday. The man, identified as 47-year-old Khaled Mahmoud Migahid, is accused of burning police stations, said the security sources. His name was on a list of people prohibited from leaving the country. [Reuters, 1/10/2014]

Also of interest:
Intensive helicopter flights to secure the Suez Canal waterway | Shorouk (Arabic)
Four arrested on charges of possession of explosive materials | Shorouk (Arabic)
Arish security arrest six Palestinians in Rafah tunnels | Shorouk (Arabic)
Bomb suspected in Port Said railway station | Egypt Independent