Top News: NSF and Nour Party Agree – Qandil and Cabinet Must Go

Tahrir protest DNE.jpg

The Salafist Nour Party met with members of the National Salvation Front (NSF) opposition umbrella group in a closed meeting on Thursday. The NSF and Nour Party agree on the importance of the resignation of Hisham Qandil’s cabinet.


Morsi to open race for parliamentary elections before weekend 
President Mohamed Morsi will issue a decision to open the race for parliamentary elections by the end of the week, the London-based al-Hayat newspaper reported an unnamed presidential source as saying. The new constitution obliges the president to start procedures for parliamentary elections within 60 days of putting the constitution to referendum, the source said. Parliamentary elections may be held by the end of April or the beginning of May, Reuters News Agency has reported a presidency official as saying, adding that the elections are likely to be divided over three rounds. [Aswat Masriya, 2/15/2013]

NSF and Nour Party agree – Qandil and cabinet must go
The Salafist Nour Party met with members of the National Salvation Front (NSF) opposition umbrella group in a closed meeting on Thursday. Following the closed meeting, NSF spokesperson Khaled Daoud told al-Hayah TV Channel the NSF might take part in the national dialogue sponsored by the president. He added that both groups agreed on the importance of formulating a national salvation government. The NSF and Nour Party agree on the importance of the resignation of Hisham Qandil’s cabinet and appointing a new prosecutor-general through the Supreme Judicial Council. The NSF said it would not back down on the conditions it set to participate in next week’s national dialogue with the president. Former Jama’a al-Islamiya leader Nageh Ibrahim predicted that the national dialogue is not likely to succeed, saying “"Each party wants to impose its conditions before engaging in dialogue, and the administration can no longer guarantee the success of the dialogue.” [Ahram Online,  DNE, Egypt Independent, 2/15/2013]

FJP aims for outright majority in new Parliament
The Muslim Brotherhood’s political party aims to win an outright majority in Egypt’s forthcoming parliamentary elections without making alliances with other more hardline Islamist groups, its leader said on Thursday. Saad al-Katatni became the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) leader in October, replacing Mohamed Morsi who had become the first elected president of Egypt since the overthrow of veteran authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. "The Freedom and Justice Party will aim to get a majority (in parliament). We expect more popular support and an increase in our number of seats beyond what we held in the previous parliament," Katatni told a news conference. [Reuters, 2/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Yasser Ali appointed head of cabinet’s information center | Aswat Masriya
Presidential decree to construct two cities in Sinai, Alamein | SIS


Qandil: Egypt has an integrated emergency plan for economic reform, government to create 750,000 jobs 
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said that Egypt has an integrated emergency plan for economic reform, adding that the government aims at providing 750 thousand jobs by the end of the year. During the ceremony organized by the Social Fund for Development (SFD) in tandem with Cairo University, Qandil said that the government is on constant contacts with IMF experts, noting that the IMF mission will be invited to visit Egypt to complete talks on the Fund’s loan. The Prime Minister pointed out that the political scene casts a shadow on all plans of the government for economic reform. Egypt’s stock market dropped on Thursday for the second day in a row, despite the prime minister’s declarations about an IMF visit to the country this month. [SIS, Ahram Online, 2/15/2013]


Egyptian soldier who shot child vendor detained
The Egyptian soldier who shot and killed a ten-year-old street vendor on 3 February will be detained for 15 days while the case is investigated. The soldier was manning a security checkpoint in the vicinity of the US embassy when he shot ten-year-old Omar Salah, who sold sweet potatoes on the street. On Thursday, military spokesman Ahmed Ali issued a formal apology for the unintentional killing of Salah, stressing that Egypt’s armed forces remained committed to following the correct legal procedures. [Ahram Online, DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), 2/15/2013]

Police strike enters third day
A nationwide police sit-in enters its third day as warrant officers in several governorates demonstrate in front of security directorates against a new protest law. Warrant officers said they would remain on strike until the protest law passed by the Shura Council, Egypt’s upper House of Parliament, is repealed and the Minister of Interior is removed from office. Striking policemen also said they are against the “Muslim Brotherhood domination” of the Ministry of Interior, in reference to what they see as the Muslim Brotherhood’s rising influence on the ministry. [DNE, 2/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Gunmen attempt to assassinate member of Islamist Wasat Party | Ahram Online
Egypt Seizes 2 Tons Of Explosives Headed To Sinai | AP


Saturday anti-Brotherhood marches for slain Egyptian protesters
Activists and friends of Gaber ‘Jika’ Salah and Mohamed ‘Kristy’ Hussein have called on the public and members of political groups to join marches that will be held on Saturday to call for fair retribution for the slain protesters. Hundreds of protesters also marched in Cairo on Friday to mourn Omar Salah, a 10-year-old sweet potato seller who was accidentally shot by an army soldier manning a US embassy security checkpoint last week after Egyptian human rights activists and political movements called on people to take part in a symbolic public funeral on Thursday. Protesters have also gathered at the Qubba presidential palace in Heliopolis to stage a protest against the government of President Morsi. More marches are expected to arrive from several different districts of Cairo. In Gharbiya, demonstrators demanded ousting President Mohamed Morsi, toppling the Muslim Brotherhood, and sacking the cabinet. Clashes broke out as Brotherhood members kidnapped four demonstrators and held them hostage inside the school building for chanting anti-Brotherhood slogans. Demonstrators also protested in Suez to demand trying those responsible for killing protesters, sacking the city’s governor, and completing the objectives of the January 25 revolution. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), 2/15/2013]

Islamists rally against violence in Egypt
Thousands of Islamists protested in Cairo on Friday against violence that has marred anti-government demonstrations, showing support for President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood politician elected head of state last year. The "Together against Violence" rally was called by al-Jama’a al-Islamiya and its political arm, the Construction and Development party. While the Muslim Brotherhood said that it would support the Friday protest with a "symbolic presence," but but did not mobilise its members from other governorates, a number of other Islamist parties and groups – including the Salafist Nour Party, the Salafist Watan Party and the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party – voiced reluctance to take part in Friday’s planned rally, fearing “further eruptions of [political] violence.” The FJP’s Mohamed Beltagy and Safwat al-Hegazy were among those who spoke at the rally. In a statement to the London-based Ashraq al-Aswat newspaper, Pope Tawadros II also denounced calls for civil disobedience and all violent assaults on public facilities, including the disruption of transport. [Reuters, Ahram Online, AP, Egypt Independent, DNE, DNE Photo Gallery, Ahram (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), 2/15/2013]

Children give testimonies on torture, sexual abuse in prison
Several children and young men have reported that they were physically and sexually abused by police officers and Central Security Forces while in detention at CSF camps. The children gave their testimonies during a press conference, “A homeland without torture,” held on Thursday at the Center for Rights in Medicine. They said that the abuse occurred after they had been caught up in random group arrests, despite not being involved in nearby violent clashes. [Egypt Independent, 2/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egyptian workers air their demands for social justice | Ahram Online
Missing activist found bound, naked, tortured in desert | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s Chief of Staff travelling to UAE to meet officials 
Egypt’s Chief of Staff Sedki Sobhi will travel to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, on Friday with a military delegation for several days to meet with a number of high-ranking officials in the Emirati armed forces. Sobhi will also attend an international defence conference in the city on Monday. Delegations from around 80 countries will be attending the conference.
[Ahram Online, 2/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
28 Egyptians detained for national security investigations: Saudi ambassador Ahram Online
Foreign Ministers for Iran, Egypt, and Turkey meet to discuss Syria EGYNews (Arabic)

Photo: DNE

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