Top News: No Parliamentary Elections Before Ramadan, Says Minister

Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy announced that the parliamentary elections will not be held until after Ramadan, due to technical and security issues. “We are ‎back to square one again and I do not expect the poll to ‎be held anytime soon ahead of the holy Islamic month of ‎Ramadan [which is scheduled to begin on 18 June],” Heneidy told reporters on Wednesday.


No parliamentary elections before Ramadan, says minister
Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy announced that the parliamentary elections will not be held until after Ramadan, due to technical and security issues. “We are ‎back to square one again and I do not expect the poll to ‎be held anytime soon ahead of the holy Islamic month of ‎Ramadan [which is scheduled to begin on 18 June],” Heneidy told reporters on Wednesday. The final legislative draft is not ready yet, he added, as the drafting committee has received conflicting statistics about the number of voters in twelve ‎constituencies. Heneidy said the committee reached a preliminary decision last ‎week to increase the number of parliamentary seats from 567 to 592. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 4/23/2015]

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Leading FJP member released by court order
A Cairo criminal court ordered the release of Hassan Hanafi, a leading member of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of Muslim Brotherhood, in a trial known in the media as “the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy.” The court also ordered the detention of Magdy Hussein and Magdy Karkar, leading members in Islamist Istiqlal Party, for another forty-five days pending trial in the same case. The prosecution accused the defendants of several charges, including spreading lies and the incitement of violence. [Ahram Online, 4/22/2015]

Justice ministry sends judges to disciplinary hearings for suspected Brotherhood ties
Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber referred several judges to disciplinary hearings on Wednesday for their alleged connection to the banned Judges for Egypt group. The government has accused Judges for Egypt of having direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared an illegal terrorist organization in December 2013. But members have identified themselves as an independent body unaffiliated to any political parties or movements. Judge Sameh Sayyed, the deputy president of the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority, announced the disciplinary measures to the media. He did not elaborate on the number of judges who will stand before the disciplinary board, nor did he say when the hearings would take place. [Mada Masr, 4/22/2015]

Also of Interest

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  • Verdict for Brotherhood members in Minya on May 20; Eighteen others adjourned to September | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt receives $6 billion from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait 
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates deposited $6 billion with Egypt’s central bank on Wednesday, a sign the Gulf powers remain committed to propping up the Egyptian economy. The bank’s governor, Hisham Ramez, said that $2 billion was deposited from each of the three Gulf countries. Last month, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Oman jointly pledged $12.5 billion in aid, investments and central bank deposits at Egypt’s economic development conference in Sharm al-Sheikh. [Reuters, 4/22/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s investment minister vows to tackle country’s bureaucracy | WSJ (blog)
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Nearly 200 Egypt students, inmates with critical medical conditions to be released
Egypt’s Prosecutor General, Hisham Barakat, ordered Wednesday in commemoration of Sinai Liberation Day the release of 174 students and prisoners with critical medical conditions who have been in jail pending trials. The prosecutor’s statement, however, did not specify the nature of the charges the prisoners are facing. Meanwhile, a report on the conditions of more than 200 prisoners inside an Egyptian police station shows that dozens are suffering from various diseases, a prosecution official has said. Prosecutors received the report, which revealed that fifty of those detained in the Old Cairo police station suffer from a range of illnesses, including diabetes, swelling in different parts of the body, viral infections, and chest and skin diseases, the head of the Old Cairo prosecution Tamer al-Araby said. According to the medical team who wrote the report after two detainees died in the police station, the reasons behind the infection and spread of disease among some of them are due to a lack of ventilation, overcrowding, and poor hygiene. [Ahram Online, 4/22/2015]

Controversial Islam al-Beheiry program suspended
Islam al-Beheiry announced the suspension of his program “With Islam” on satellite channel, al-Qahera wal Nas, due to a dispute with the station’s management. He did not offer any further details on the reasons behind the suspension. “The program was suspended due to a disagreement between me and the channel. I will not explain details right now but I will write everything in two days,” Beheiry wrote on his Facebook account.  Meanwhile, al-Qahera wal Nas issued a statement on Wednesday, saying the program was suspended “to defend the national interest, out of respect for a large segment of society, and in response to the request of the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar.” According to the statement, “The channel’s management does not encourage debates or programs aimed at dividing Muslims,” adding that “the program had negative consequences for society, inevitably leading to more tension and differences, at a time when the nation’s efforts should be directed towards building.” [Egypt Independent, 4, 23/2015]

Over 1,000 protests staged in 2015 according to Democracy Index
According to a report issued on Saturday by Democracy Index, affiliated with the Cairo-based International Development Center (IDC), Egypt has witnessed an increase in labor protests, as well as violent incidents at colleges and schools, in the first quarter of 2015. According to the report, 1,353 protests took place in the first three months of 2015, 40 percent of which were related to economic and social demands. Muslim Brotherhood supporters staged 552 protests, while laborers, business owners and craftsmen staged 323 protests. School and university students staged 183 protests. Democracy Index reported that the number of detentions by Egyptian authorities and the number of terrorist incidents have also increased during the same period. [Egypt Independent, 4/23/2015]

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One killed, four injured in North Sinai shelling
A rocket-propelled grenade landed on a residential home, killing one person and injuring at least four more on Thursday morning, state-owned news agency MENA reported. The residents were from the Northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid. The source of the shelling remains unidentified, as it is unclear whether the shelling was attributed to the armed forces or North Sinai’s militants. Clashes on Wednesday night between security forces and purported members of the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis left six of the suspected militants dead, a military source said.  The clashes occurred south of Sheikh Zuweid, the source told Aswat Masriya, adding that security forces also arrested nine suspects. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, 4/23/2015]


Qatari Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff arrives in Cairo over joint Arab troops talks
Qatari Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff Major General Ghanem bin Shahin arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to take part in talks with the Arab League over the formation of a joint Arab troop unit, as per the decision taken during the recent Arab summit held in Sharm al-Sheikh. A meeting for chiefs of staff of Arab armed forces took place on Wednesday at the Arab League’s secretariat in Cairo, and was headed by Mahmoud Hegazy, the Egyptian chief of staff of the Armed Forces. [MENA, 4/22/2015]

Also of Interest

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  • Egyptian-Greek summit kicks off | SIS
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  • Mimish, UAE State minister visit New Suez Canal | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Sisi invited to visit Vietnam | EGYNews (Arabic)