Top News: Parliament Before End of 2015, Sisi Tells Political Party Heads

After a three-hour meeting with the heads of the country’s mainstream political parties Wednesday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed that the long-delayed parliamentary elections will be held at the nearest possible time and that Egypt will have a new parliament before the end of 2015. Sisi will also meet with a number of chairpersons of political parties Tuesday to discuss the amendments made to the law regulating Egypt’s long-awaited parliamentary election. The meeting is the first since the cabinet approved the amendments in early May, but the second in 2015. The consolidated draft law that was devised by thirty-seven parties and sent to the cabinet to review, according to Sayed Abdel Al, head of the Tagammu Party. [Cairo Post, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 5/28/2015]

Report: Officials using state coffers as ‘private piggy bank’
A group of army generals and senior government officials are using almost 7,000 unaudited accounts in the Central Bank of Egypt and the country’s state banks to stash at least $9.4 billion in state funds to spend at their personal discretion, according to an exposé published in Africa Confidential with US-based foundation Angaza File. These events took place one year before billions of dollars of Gulf aid poured into Egypt and one year after the military-backed uprising of June 30, 2013 led to the removal of ex-president Mohamed Morsi, according to the story. [Africa Confidential, Egypt Independent, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi to discuss election law amendments with party leaders | Ahram Online
  • Sisi to hold national dialogue with representatives of thirty political parties | Ahram Online
  • Karama Party to participate in Sisi meeting | Egypt Independent
  • As Sisi concludes first year, supporting intelligentsia voice discontent | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi stresses importance of national unity ahead of legislative vote | SIS
  • Constitution Party: We asked Sisi to amend the protest law, release prisoners | Egypt Independent
  • Arab Water Ministerial Council kicks off in Cairo | Cairo Post


Egypt releases three detained GUC students
Three students at the German University in Cairo (GUC) were released Wednesday after being detained on charges of assaulting the university’s head and security guards. GUC student union head, Hazem Abdel-Khalek, his deputy, Karim Nagib, and a third student, Alaa al-Atar, were released without bail pending investigations into a request against their detention. The students were initially arrested when the university accused them of assaulting the university’s president and security personnel. The release comes only a day after they were ordered to be detained for four additional days. [Ahram Online , DNE, 5/28/2015]

Court to rule on banning ‘Al-Bedaya’ June 18
The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters will look into lawsuit demanding the designation of the Al-Bedaya political movement as a “terrorist group” on June 18. The General Prosecution decided to refer the case to court days after lawyer Ashraf Farahat filed a lawsuit demanding the movement’s being banned. Farahat accused the group of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and seeking to overthrow the government, adding that the group is registered neither as an NGO nor as a party. Farahat said he was going to provide the court with CDs, including statements by one of the group’s founders, Sherif Diab, in which he voiced sympathy with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, denied the outlawed group’s involvement in terrorism and accused Egypt’s military of murdering protesters. [DNE, Egypt Independent, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Report: Detainees dying in police stations, the specter of torture is back | Egypt Independent
  • Inmate electrocuted by AC cable due to security ‘negligence’ says relative | Cairo Post
  • Shafiq’s party to sue media over regime standoff reports | Egypt Independent
  • Trial postponed for lady in raunchy video clip | Egypt Independent
  • Cabinet clashes retrial to resume on 9 June | DNE
  • Nurses accused of neglect in kidnapping remanded into custody | Egypt Independent
  • Defendant accused of embezzling revolution victims’ funds referred to psychologist | Egypt Independent


Even with billions in Gulf aid, Egypt may still turn to IMF
Egypt’s on-and-off talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may be back on again, as investors say IMF loans offer a stronger platform for reviving the Egyptian economy than the Gulf money currently keeping it afloat. Even with signs of a recovery in tourism and investment, the gap between Egypt’s foreign currency receipts and needs may reach fifteen billion a year by 2017. Support from Gulf countries is helping to maintain Egypt’s balance of payments, but it is not a long-term solution. While Egyptian authorities do not want to be tied to an IMF financing package and its pace of required reforms, an IMF program would go a long way towards attracting investors. [Bloomberg, 5/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s military establishes new multi-industry company | Ahram Online
  • African Development Bank commits $700 million for Egypt’s energy sector | Amwal Al Ghad
  • Egypt bourse to reduce free float required to list on EGX 30 | Reuters
  • Egypt targets 20 million tourists by 2020: Tourism Minister | DNE
  • Two real estate companies investigated for misleading ads | Egypt Independent
  • Weak electric current shuts down ten drinking water stations in New Valley | Egypt Independent


Members of NCHR call for three-year moratorium on executions
A longtime political activist and member of a semi-official rights body has backed calls to suspend death sentences in Egypt for three years as courts continue to hand down mass death sentences to Islamists accused of murder and terrorism. George Ishaq of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) called on Tuesday for shelving the death penalty to help ease tensions in the country. His remarks came days after the NCHR’s Deputy Head Abdel-Ghaffar Shukr formulated a similar proposition, citing the same reasons. “We need more calm and stability, we need to stem violence and terrorism,” Ishaq, once a leading opposition figure under ousted president Mohamed Morsi, said in TV comments. In its annual report issued in April, the London-based Amnesty International said Egypt and Nigeria make up well over a third of the world’s total death sentences in 2014, with over 1,000 death sentences recorded in both states last year. [Ahram Online, 5/28/2015]

406 Azhar Uni. students banned from final exam for on-campus “rioting”
A total of 406 students from Al-Azhar University will be banned from taking their final exams over participating in on-campus riots, a university source said Thursday. The banned students were referred to disciplinary councils after receiving several warnings from the university administration, the source added. The Al-Azhar University’s Faculty of Islamic Studies for girls has also expelled seven students over involvement in riots at the university. [Cairo Post, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • April 6 movement calls for protests on June 10 | Egypt Independent
  • Activist: Egyptian opponents either in graves, prison, defamed or outside Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • CAPMAS: 50 percent of female deaths blamed on circulatory diseases | Egypt Independent


Bomb blast kills senior police officer in Egypt’s Sinai
An Egyptian police brigadier general was killed in a roadside bomb attack on Wednesday in North Sinai, the interior ministry said, one of the most high-profile police deaths in the Islamist insurgency raging in the region. The Interior Ministry spokesman said the roadside bomb hit a team of security forces on the al-Samarat road in the provincial capital of al-Arish. Brigadier General Ahmed Ibrahim was a deputy in the criminal investigations department in North Sinai. A police colonel was wounded in the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Another blast in Arish earlier left two policemen injured, state news agency MENA reported. Security sources said the explosive device was planted at the side of the road, going off when an armored vehicle passed by. [AP, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 5/27/2015]

Health ministry reports 643 civilians and military killed and injured in North Sinai
Within the past year, 643 civilians and military have been killed and injured in North Sinai, according to the Ministry of Health. In an official statement issued Wednesday by Tarek Khater, the undersecretary of the health ministry in North Sinai, the number of those shot and admitted to hospitals, civilians or security forces, in the governorate reached 466. The statement added that 177—civilians and security forces combined—were killed, according to hospital records. A security source told the state-owned MENA news agency that seventy police officers were killed and 107 others injured in North Sinai in the last six months alone. [Ahram Online, 5/27/2015]

Also of Interest


Egypt extends opening of Gaza crossing, but only for those leaving Egypt
Egypt extended the opening of its border crossing with the Gaza Strip for a third day on Thursday to allow stranded Palestinians to return home, state news agency MENA said. The terminal, closed since March, was only scheduled to operate for two days from Tuesday. The Rafah crossing – the only passage to the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel – is only operating in one direction for outbound traffic. Hamas’s political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, called on Wednesday for the Egyptian authorities to open the crossing which, he said, is of political and humanitarian importance. Egypt’s Interior Ministry released forty Palestinians from detention for illegal passage into Egypt to allow them to return home. Nearly 800 Palestinians crossed into Gaza from Egypt and other countries on Wednesday, bringing the number of those who crossed so far to 1,355. Authorities also allowed 1,290 tonnes of building material into the strip on Wednesday, to be used for rehabilitation projects in Gaza. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Cairo Post, Mada Masr, AFP, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi meets former US Secretary of Defense | Cairo Post
  • Ambassador of Egypt’s response to the New York Times’ editorial | Cairo Post
  • French FM to head to Israel, Egypt in June to revive peace process | Reuters, Aswat Masriya
  • Ahead of Syria conference, anti-Assad figure says Cairo backs his ouster | Ahram Online
  • Erdogan renews attack on Morsi death sentence | Egypt Independent
  • Israeli air force chief unfazed Egypt may get Russia’s S-300 | Egypt Independent
  • Jordan’s industry minister lauds ties with Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt, Jordan sign ten cooperation protocols | SIS
  • PM assures Egyptians in Jordan on political, economic, security conditions | SIS
  • 30 technology agreements between Egyptian, African companies signed | SIS
  • Irrigation min. heads for Congo for bilateral cooperation | SIS
  • Defense Minister, Italy Chief of Staff confer on regional developments, bilateral cooperation | SIS