Top News: NSF Submits Proposal to Amend the Constitutional Declaration


The National Salvation Front (NSF) submitted a proposal to amend the constitutional declaration issued by interim President Adly Mansour. The proposal suggests articles to be added and others to be amended.  


Egypt’s interim cabinet to be formed next week: PM

Interim prime minister Hesham el-Beblawi, an economist and former finance minister, told state-run news website Al Ahram Gate that he has not yet made any formal offers of government posts, and has to date only met with his deputy Ziad Bahaa-Eldin to discuss the formation of the cabinet. Interim President Adly Mansour had given him “complete freedom” in choosing the ministers, the PM told the privately owned al-Masry al-Youm. Beblawi said on Thursday he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new cabinet, if the candidates were suitably qualified. Beblawi denied news reports that some political figures declined to take up positions in the new cabinet, adding that there are no problems facing the process of appointing leaders to governmental positions. In this context, he met Vice President for International Relations Mohamed ElBaradei and Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, who has been nominated as Deputy Premier and Minister of International Cooperation. The Nour Party announced it will not be fielding candidates to join the new interim government. The Islamist party’s chief Younis Makhyoun said the decision was an attempt to preserve non-partisanship in Egypt’s fledgling interim administration. “We will nominate experts from outside the party who are independent and do not have any political affiliations,” Makhyoun revealed. “We want a government of technocrats for it to be successful.” [Egypt Independent, Reuters, Mada Masr, Youm7 (Arabic), Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

NSF submits proposal to amend the constitutional declaration
The National Salvation Front (NSF) submitted a proposal to amend the constitutional declaration issued by interim President Adly Mansour. The proposal suggests articles to be added and others to be amended. It called for the formation of a cabinet whose members were at the heart of the 25 January 2011 revolution and who enjoy credibility due to their support for the revolution. It also called for expediting the work of the judicial committee formed to investigate the killing of more than fifty supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi on Monday at the Republican Guard House, and bringing those responsible to justice. Political forces continued to announce their rejection of the constitutional declaration, among them the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Cairo Center for Development, the Strong Egypt Party and the Islamist National Alliance to Support Legitimacy. The No to Military Trials movement also criticized it, saying that Article 19 grants the Armed Forces absolute powers without any restrictions to ensure that civilians are not subjected to military trials. They released a statement calling on Mansour to immediately release military detainees. They called for the amendment of Article 198 of the constitution regarding the military judiciary, and suggested restoring Article 63, which was removed in the final draft of the constitution and had prohibited trying civilians in front of a military judiciary. [Egypt Independent, DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s Brotherhood looks back, Islamist rivals look ahead | Reuters
Egypt interim leader vows to end imprisonment of journalists | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Egyptian political groups call for Tahrir Ramadan breakfast | Ahram Online
Media is run by intelligence agencies: Beltagy | DNE
Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya leader: We will fight to defend Morsi | Egypt Independent
Egypt’s Brotherhood vows to keep defying coup | AP
NSF: Avoid any extraordinary measures in Republican Guard investigation and create a government that belongs to the revolution | EGYNews (Arabic)
National reconciliation initiative receives mixed reactions | Ahram (Arabic)


Egypt prosecutor orders investigation in Morsi prison escape

Egypt’s prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat received the case of ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s prison escape on Thursday and ordered an investigation in it. Morsi escaped along with other Islamists during the January 25 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Speaking on Wednesday after being sworn in, Barakat said, “I will not let the Egyptian people down.” He added “The judiciary belongs to the Egyptian people and no one else. And we follow our conscience, not afraid of any ruler or regime." He declined to comment on problems regarding the previous prosecutor general, Talaat Abdallah, appointed by Morsi. [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

Lawsuit aims to disband Brotherhood, Jama’a Islamiya parties
Former MP Hamdi al-Fakharani filed two lawsuits with the administrative court on Wednesday, demanding the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and al-Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Construction and Development Party be disbanded. Fakharani accused both Islamist political wings of forming militias to incite violence and launch violent attacks on the streets. Meanwhile, the Insurance and Social Affairs Ministry has also said that the General Department for Associations and the Management of Legal Affairs is scheduled to hold a meeting within a maximum of ten days in which they will consider whether the Muslim Brotherhood should be dissolved, an official source from the ministry said. The same source told al-Masry al-Youm that the public prosecution responded on Wednesday to the minister’s request to be notified of the outcome of an investigation concerning the burning of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam on 30 June. [Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

Also of Interest:
Islamists who threw teens from building in Alexandria detained for fifteen days | Ahram Online
Egypt detains 206 in Republican Guard clashes | Aswat Masriya, Ahram (Arabic)
Lawsuit claims Mansour’s appointment as SCC chairman is illegitimate | DNE
Prosecution requests military investigations regarding massacre at Republican Guard | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt has less than two months imported wheat left – ex-minister

Egypt has less than two months’ supply of imported wheat left in its stocks, ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s minister of supplies said, revealing a shortage more acute than previously disclosed. Speaking to Reuters near midnight in a tent at a vigil where thousands of Morsi supporters are protesting against the Islamist president’s removal, former Minister of Supplies Bassem Ouda said the state had just 500,000 tons of imported wheat left. Egypt usually imports about 10 million tons a year. Apart from imports, Ouda said the government had bought 3.7 million tons of home-grown wheat from a harvest that is now finishing. It still has 3 million tons of domestic wheat left in its stores, having begun milling the domestic crop in May. [Reuters, 7/11/2013]

Gulf billions buy Egypt economy breathing space
Twelve billion dollars in aid from Egypt’s wealthy Gulf allies have bought Cairo a window of several months to try and stabilize its politics and repair its state finances—or face fresh economic turmoil. Economists have said that the US$8 billion Egypt will receive in loans from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will raise foreign currency reserves to US$20 billion, and eliminate the black market for the US dollar, the value of which has increased by 25 percent since December 30 of last year. “The government would be able to cover the needs of commodity imports,” economist Passant Fahmy said. “The loans will reduce the US$14 billion funding gap that previous governments suffered from.” Egyptian bonds also gained for a second day, sending yields to the lowest level in five weeks, as the aid pledges from the Gulf eased concern that the army-backed government will struggle to revive the economy. [Reuters, Egypt Independent, Bloomberg, 7/11/2013]

Also of Interest:
Fitch cuts ratings on two Egyptian banks | Ahram Online
Egypt’s pound strengthens at Thursday’s central bank sale | Reuters
Stock down in trading on Thursday, loses 1.2 billion pounds | AMAY (Arabic)


Al-Ahram chairman, chief editors sacked

The general assembly of state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper sacked chairman Mamdouh al-Wali, chief editor Abdel Nasser Salama, and the chief editor of Al-Ahram al-Masa’y, Mohmed Kharaga, who were appointed by the Shura Council during the rule of the toppled regime. The assembly authorized the institution’s general director to take over the chairman’s responsibilities during the interim period, until the political situation becomes stable. It also assigned the managing editor of Al-Ahram Al-Masa’y to run the newspaper until a new chief editor is appointed. For legal reasons, the assembly has decided to continue publishing the three men’s names on the newspaper, although they will no longer have the right to represent it or speak on its behalf. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 7/10/2013]

Morsi supporters continue sit-in for twelfth day, call for million man march on Friday
Egypt’s National Alliance to Support Legitimacy released a statement on Wednesday calling for a million-man march in Cairo on Friday to demand ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s reinstatement. The alliance urged Egyptians to join a demonstration in Cairo on Friday, July 12, against Egypt’s new military-imposed government and in support of the ousted president. Meanwhile, for the last twelve days, pro-Morsi demonstrators have maintained a sizeable sit-in outside the Raba’a al-Adawiya Mosque. “We will hold marches every Friday for President Morsi to be reinstated,” said Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad al-Haddad. Saad Emara, a leading figure of the Freedom and Justice Party, also said protests would continue until Morsi is reinstated. “We shall not negotiate with anyone,” he said. “Negotiations should be with the elected president that they have detained.” Meanwhile, late Wednesday several hundred supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi marched from the Raba’a sit-in to the presidential palace in Heliopolis, returning to its point of origin in the early hours of Thursday. In Alexandria, Morsi supporters plan to rally on Thursday night. Observers to Protect the Revolution, a national coalition of Egyptian human rights groups, called on the army and police to secure peaceful demonstrations on Friday, saying the responsibility falls on them. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, Reuters, Shorouk (Arabic), ONA (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

Also of Interest:
10 percent of Egyptian children work: State report | Mada Masr
Media freedom still flouted a week after military takeover | Reporters Without Borders


Gunmen continue to target military checkpoints and personnel

A twenty-two year-old central security conscript was killed early Thursday morning after alleged smugglers shot him near the eastern border when he attempted to stop them south of the Rafah land crossing and Karm Abu Salem crossing. A similar attack happened in the district of Qasr al-Bassel in Fayoum when an armed vehicle opened fire at a military establishment and drove off. A car coming from the Rafah border area opened heavy fire on a security checkpoint near Sheikh Zuweid Wednesday. The attack took place as the Commander of the Second Field Army Major General Ahmed Wasfy was overseeing the security situation in the area of Sheikh Zuweid, according to Major Ahmed Shaaban, office manager of army spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Aly. After a firefight, security forces confiscated the car used in the attack. An injured girl was found inside the car, and died shortly after her arrival at Arish General Hospital. The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights called for the investigation of her death after being shot by military personnel. Recent protests and acts of violence in Cairo since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi have forced many factories, particularly those located in the cities of 10th of Ramadan and 15th of May, to bear extra costs for security; many have hired local Bedouin tribesmen to stand guard at facilities. [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, DNE, Ahram (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

Egypt’s Christians face backlash for Morsi ouster
Security officials say suspected militants have killed a Christian merchant in the northern Sinai Peninsula. They said sixty year-old Magdy Habashi was abducted last Saturday from the town of Sheikh Zuweid. His decapitated body was found early Thursday in a cemetery, the officials said. The recent spate of religiously-aggravated assaults across Egypt following the ouster of ex-President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 has claimed the lives of a number of Coptic Christians and seen a number of Christian homes and places of worship attacked and burned. In the southern governorate of Luxor, a total of four Christians were killed and over thirty injured last Friday following an attack on a Muslim man, in the volatile North Sinai governorate a Coptic priest was killed last Saturday and a church in Port Said was attacked on Monday by masked gunmen. In a statement released by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) on Wednesday, EIPR criticized the role played by state apparatus, in particular the security forces, following Morsi’s ouster, stating that police “failed in carrying out their role,” citing a lack of rapid action in protecting citizens and their property from attack, despite “previous knowledge of the tense situation.” An undetonated bomb was also reportedly found at Mar Girgis Church in Port Said. [AP, DNE, 7/11/2013]


United States still plans to send F-16s to Egypt: US officials

The United States still plans to go through with the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks, US defense officials told Reuters on Wednesday, even after the Egyptian military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Eight of the F-16s were delivered in January, the next four are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks and the final eight are to be sent later this year. The disclosure came as Washington treads a careful line, neither welcoming Morsi’s removal nor denouncing it as a "coup." The White House said on Wednesday it will take time to determine whether the Egyptian military’s removal of Morsi constituted a coup, and called on the military to exercise restraint. Egypt’s interim government praised the United States Thursday for showing "understanding" in describing the rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi "undemocratic." Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said US comments "reflect understanding and realization…about the political developments that Egypt is witnessing in the recent days, as embodying the will of millions of Egyptians who took to the streets starting June 30 to ask for their legitimate rights and call for early elections." Four US lawmakers, however, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would force more public disclosure about foreign aid programs, amid debate over whether to suspend the $1.5 billion that Washington sends to Egypt each year. The bipartisan bills introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives would require that regular evaluations of foreign assistance programs be made public, with the goal of showing taxpayers how their money is spent, and convincing them of the value of the aid. Meanwhile, the White House on Wednesday voiced confidence in the US ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, who has come under fire for criticism she made of planned rallies against the Muslim Brotherhood before the military takeover in Egypt a week ago. Patterson’s remarks were covered extensively by local media and were denounced by Egyptian opposition leaders who accused her of interference in Egypt’s internal affairs. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Shorouk (Arabic), 7/11/2013]

HRW criticizes new immigration policy
Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized Egypt’s change in immigration policy regarding Syrian refugees entering the country. On July 8 and without prior warning the Egyptian government introduced a new entry policy for Syrian nationals requiring them to obtain a visa and security clearance before arriving in Egypt. Egypt should allow those fleeing Syria full access to the UN refugee agency to have their asylum claims properly examined, and should also allow Syrians already registered with the UN body to reenter the country after periods abroad, Human Rights Watch said. [Mada Masr, HRW, 7/10/2013]

Also of Interest:
Events in Egypt may influence, won’t define Syria war | Reuters
Bahrain’s deputy prime minister meets Sisi, Mansour | Watan (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic)
Jordan says Egypt to resume gas supplies within ten days | Ahram Online
Moscow interested in maintaining stability and security in Egypt | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Hague calls for peaceful dialogue in Egypt | DNE
Vice-President of the Tunisian Renaissance Movement warns of the Egyptian transition scenario | EGYNews (Arabic)
Egypt strongly dissatisfied with statements by Iranian officials Egypt Independent, Reuters
Egypt unrest could threaten food security: UN agency | Reuters
Egypt rejects AU Peace & Security Council decision to suspend membership | SIS

Photos: WEFAslan MediaHossam El Hamalawy

Image: NSFmembers.jpg