Top News: Official Parliamentary Elections Results Announced; AU, AL Announce Preliminary Findings

The Fi Hob Misr electoral list won the party-based list seats in the first stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, while only four candidates won individual seats, the head of the High Elections Committee (HEC), Ayman Abbas, announced Wednesday evening. Abbas announced that turnout in the first stage reached 26.56 percent with 7,270,594 out of 27,402,353 registered voters. According to Abbas, valid votes reached 6,584,128 (90.46 percent), while invalid votes reached 694,466 (9.54 percent). The New Valley governorate saw the highest turnout with 37 percent of registered voters participating in the elections, while Giza had the lowest turnout with 21 percent. An Egyptian administrative court meanwhile halted the elections process in Alexandria’s Raml constituency late Wednesday, ruling that the results are invalid due to the presence of a disqualified candidate in the elections. The court ordered that a new vote take place within sixty days. Preliminary findings by the African Union (AU) observation mission on Wednesday said there were no barriers to affect the integrity of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, while the Arab League (AL) mission said it did not identify any violations. Nour Party Chairman Younes Makhyoun, however, said Thursday, “I believe this election is one of the worst in the history of the Egyptian Parliament and will be a dark mark for this era.” [Ahram Online, DNE, Reuters, AP, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Mada Masr, 10/22/2015]

Also of Interest

  • NCMC to address SEC on child exploitation during elections | DNE
  • Egypt loyalists take the lead in parliament elections | Reuters
  • Diehard Mubarak-era figures lose big in first ‎stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections | Ahram Online
  • Runoff between two not four in Agouza & Dokki ‘Egyptian celebrity constituency’ | Ahram Online
  • Egyptian women make gains in parliamentary ballot box | Aswat Masriya
  • Mapping election runoffs: Parties versus independents | Ahram Online


Zamalek chair Mortada Mansour referred to Egypt’s prosecution for ‘assaulting candidate’
Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour was referred to the prosecution by Judge Nagy Shehata on Monday after he was accused of verbally and physically assaulting a parliamentary candidate running against his son in the Agouza and Dokki constituency. In a phone call with CBC TV station, Shehata said he received a complaint from ex-military parliamentary candidate Medhat al-Hennawy accusing Mansour of attacking him at an Agouza polling station. “The incident is a criminal act, which had to be referred to the prosecutor-general,” Shehata said. Even though a video of the incident has been circulating on social media, the controversial Mansour denied any guilt in a phone call to al-Mehwar TV on Monday night. [Ahram Online, 10/20/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Special Report: Egypt locks up lawyers in Islamist fight | Reuters
  • ‘Brotherhood member’ accused of threatening judge is court employee | DNE


BP to invest in three new exploration blocks in Egypt
British Petroleum (BP) said on Wednesday it had been awarded three new offshore exploration blocks in Egypt and that it and its partners had committed to invest $229 million. BP said it would have 100 percent equity and operate the North al-Tabya block, located in deep waters north of its recent Salamat and Atoll discoveries. The North Ras al-Esh Block, located in shallow waters to the east of the Notus discovery, will also be operated by BP, with 50 percent equity. The third block at North al-Hammad, in which BP will have 37.5 percent equity, will be held by a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni. Eni will also hold 37.5 percent equity in the third block, while France’s Total will hold 25 percent. BP North Africa Regional President Hesham Mekawi said of the investments, “BP will deploy its expertise and latest technologies to exploit the resources in these new blocks. This investment confirms our commitment to meet Egypt’s energy needs.” [Reuters, 10/21/2015]

Also of Interest

  • 75 percent of 2015 investments to be implemented with private sector | DNE
  • Egypt’s central bank orders banks to accept cash deposits in foreign currency | DNE
  • Question and answer with Egypt’s Central Bank governor | Ahram Online
  • Tobacco boosts Egypt’s sales tax revenues to unprecedented level | Aswat Masriya
  • India announces maritime transport agreement with Egypt | AMAY
  • Egyptian pound steady at dollar sale, stronger on parallel market | Reuters
  • Egypt stock market inches up, continues rally | Aswat Masriya


Egyptian school students protest new attendance, behavior marks
Hundreds of students across several Egyptian governorates staged protests against a new system which allocates grades for attendance and behavior on Wednesday. The new electronic system, introduced at the start of the 2015/2016 academic year by Education Minister al-Helali al-Sherbini, aims to improve students’ attendance. Students who protested in several governorates including Cairo, Giza, Gharbiya, Minya, and Menoufiya also demanded that all questions in the final exams be based solely on the curriculum, not just the 70 percent the current exams include. Students have also launched a Facebook campaign against the new system. In Minya, security forces attempted to disperse the protests, while Undersecretary of the Education Ministry Ramadan Abdel Hamid spoke to them in an attempt to break up the protest. He promised them he would file a memorandum to the minister with their demands. Gharibya’s governor met with protester representatives in an attempt to reach a compromise, but the negotiations failed. Menoufiya’s Undersecretary of the Education Ministry Abdallah Omara also called on the protesting students to prepare a memorandum for the minister. [Ahram Online, AMAY, 10/21/2015]

Rights group says Egypt police storm journalist training center
Amnesty International said in a statement on Wednesday, masked and armed Egyptian security forces raided the office of an organization in Cairo that trains and aides journalists, the latest assault on press freedoms in Egypt. They say the forces detained all staff members present in the office of the Mada Foundation for Media Development on Wednesday, later releasing females but keeping some twenty male staff members on the premises. A statement issued by the Giza security directorate to Aswat Masriya confirmed that police arrested the foundation’s chairman Hesham Gaafar, without mentioning the reason for his arrest. Gaafar is a journalist and a member of Egypt’s Press Syndicate. Among the foundation’s main projects is website which was launched in 2011 and is run by journalists who formerly worked for IslamOnline website which had to shut down its Egypt office the previous year. [AP, Aswat Masriya, 10/21/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Ten governorates face illegal emigrations: Government study | DNE
  • PM approves dispatch of 120 artifacts to Japan | AMAY
  • Families still pressing rights council on missing relatives whereabouts | AMAY
  • Workers strike over unpaid bonuses at Egypt’s largest textile company | Mada Masr


Armed Forces spokesperson says Egypt gains ‘full control’ of North Sinai
Egypt’s armed forces have gained full control over the North Sinai areas of Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuwaid after successful raids on terrorist strongholds and weapons caches, the Egyptian army spokesman announced on Thursday. Egypt has killed twenty militants in North Sinai, wounded twelve and detained seventy-eight more in joint police and army raids, he said, without specifying when they occurred.  His statement also mentions that Egyptian forces dismantled fifty-one explosive devices and destroyed motorcycles used to monitor troops’ movements and six SUV vehicles fitted with machine guns. The Egyptian military also stated that it has destroyed eight hideouts containing some 1,000 kilograms of explosives, 4,000 liters of gas, three tons of cannabis, and seized a large collection of jihadist literature. Twenty underground shelters used for hiding individuals and vehicles were also destroyed. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 10/22/2015]


Sisi meets UN envoy to Syria
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met Wednesday with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the presidential National Security Adviser. During the meeting, De Mistura reviewed the latest developments related to reaching a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef said. [SIS, 10/22/2015]

Also of Interest

  • 560 Egyptian child migrants reach Italian shore says Minister of Immigration | Ahram Online