Top News: Political Parties Call on Mansour to Allow Appeals in Presidential Elections

Five Egyptian political parties have sent interim President Adly Mansour a letter asking him to amend a controversial law which elevates the results of the country’s upcoming presidential elections above judicial appeal.


Political parties call on Mansour to allow appeals in presidential elections
Five Egyptian political parties have sent interim President Adly Mansour a letter asking him to amend a controversial law which elevates the results of the country’s upcoming presidential elections above judicial appeal. The letter’s five signatories – the leftist Egyptian Popular Current, the liberal Constitution Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Nasserist Al-Karama Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party ­– asked Mansour to amend article 7 of an elections law he issued earlier this month so that presidential candidates will be allowed to appeal the results of the polls. Meanwhile, military spokesperson Ahmed Ali said on Wednesday that individuals in Gharbiya and Beni Suef governorates have been illegally collecting financial donations to back Sisi’s presidential campaign, which has not officially commenced.  [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 3/20/2014]

NASL slams Raba’a report; Mansour calls for investigation into police violations
The Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) announced on Wednesday that it had documented 1,182 deaths in last August’s violent dispersal of the Raba’a al-Adaweya protest camp in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. The NASL statement comes in response to a previous estimate announced by the state-run National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) on Monday, which said that 632 people had been killed during the dispersal, including eight police officers, with 1,492 injured. Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English online site, described the NCHR report as “full of lies.” Meanwhile, interim President Adly Mansour has sent the NCHR report to the minister of justice, asking him to investigate police violations during the forcible sit-in dispersal. [Mada Masr, Ahram Online, 3/20/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Pro-Brotherhood Wasat Party rejects member’s proposal to end Egypt’s political violence | Ahram Online
  • PM: The government vows to take care of 4 million living in slums | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt cabinet convenes on Wednesday | Aswat Masriya


Sixteen minors to be tried for ‘rioting and illegal protesting’
Sixteen minors have been referred to court on charges of rioting and attending unauthorized pro-Mohamed Morsi protests. They were arrested at various demonstrations in December and January, according to defense lawyer Hussein Farouk. Their ages range from 15 to 17 years old. Four were arrested in the Azbakeya district of Cairo, twelve others in Qasr al-Nil. The trials will take place in a juvenile court. [Ahram Online, 3/20/2-14]

Badie, other defendants not taken to court, trial postponed
The trial of 48 Muslim Brotherhood defendants including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was postponed on Wednesday, after the defendants were not brought to court. State-run Al-Ahram cited security reasons for not bringing the defendants to court. Badie’s lawyer Mohamed al-Damati said the court has not yet set the date for the next session. The defendants face charges of blocking traffic, damaging public and private property, possession of illegal weapons, and attacking and terrorizing citizens to threaten national peace and spread chaos during July protests in the city of Qalyub. [DNE, 3/19/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Ahmad Douma says he was tortured by security | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Grand Mufti ratifies execution verdict for twenty-six accused of terrorism | DNE
  • Egypt prosecutor orders investigation into al-Qaeda flag at Al-Azhar | Aswat Masriya


Debt casts deepening shadow over Egypt’s economic recovery
Investors are celebrating; stocks have rocketed to levels last seen before the 2011 revolution while the yield on Egypt’s $1 billion sovereign bond due in 2020 hit 5.33 percent this week. But Egypt’s state finances are still getting worse and will continue deteriorating into the second half of the decade, at the very least. In that time, the ratio of public debt to GDP may rise above 100 percent, a level viewed as potentially dangerous by many economists. [Reuters, 3/20/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Three agreements signed to excavate oil, natural gas | Egypt Independent
  • Corrupt gas contracts cost Egypt ten billion dollars, says report | Mada Masr
  • Egypt to bring in US$100 million in imports from Sudan | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt investors believe Sisi presidency will bring stability | Reuters
  • Gulf aid to Egypt geared to revolution’s side effects rather than causes | Ahram Online
  • Egypt central bank governor says foreign reserves to continue to rise | Reuters
  • Egypt in talks with Algeria’s Sonatrach on natural gas imports | Reuters


Two dead, thirty injured in Wednesday protests
Clashes between security forces and supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday left two dead and 30 injured across five governorates, according to the health ministry. The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) called for the protests earlier this week  to mark the three-year anniversary of a constitutional referendum the Brotherhood supported on March 19, 2011. Universities in the cities of Mansoura, Beni Suef and Cairo – including Cairo University and Al-Azhar University – witnessed clashes between pro-Brotherhood students and security forces. In Beni Suef, Amr Mohamed Ali Kafaty, 13, was shot dead outside of Beni Suef University’s campus when clashes erupted between police and students, according to the health ministry.[Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya,  Mada Masr, DNE 3/20/2014

Also of Interest:

  • Bassem Youssef apologizes after plagiarising Ukrainian writer | Ahram Online


Cautious Calm in Qalyubeya after clashes between security and militants
After a day of clashes between Egyptian security forces and and militants from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis that resulted in the death of two officers and six militants, a state of calm has settled over Qalyubeya. Security forces allowed traffic through the governorate to resume on Thursday after closing roads during the security operation. Authorities are continuing to collect evidence and examine the facilities used by the militants to manufacture explosives. [Shorouk (Arabic)

Security concerns delay opening door to presidential hopefuls
Ali Awad, advisor to the interim president for constitutional affairs, said that the delay in opening the door for presidential hopefuls to submit their application was due to a particular security concern at the headquarters of the High Presidential Elections Commission which prevented its members from convening on Wednesday afternoon. Awad declined to specify or the expand on the security situation. According to Aswat Masriya, the meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 3/20/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Leading Strong Egypt figure claims brother was tortured in detention | DNE
  • AMAY: Terrorist cell in Daqahleya was planning to attack police installations | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt’s military destroys thirteen tunnels on border with Gaza
A military source said that an Egyptian border patrol unit discovered thirteen tunnels on the border with Gaza near Rafah on Thursday. He added that military engineers assisted in the destruction of the tunnels. Egyptian security forces have discovered and destroyed nearly 1,400 tunnels on the Gaza border. The source added that in addition to destroying the tunnels it seized three cars used for smuggling goods through the tunnels. [Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic) 3/20/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Iran’s charge d’affaires: Iran’s interest in a strong Egypt does not interfere in its affairs | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)