Top News: Sabbahi Campaign says Government Dismisses Complaint of Bias; Succeeds in Collecting Signatures

The official campaign of leftist presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi said on Tuesday that Egypt’s government has dismissed a complaint it lodged against perceived bias shown by officials in favor of his main rival in the polls, ex-army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Sabbahi campaign says government dismisses complaint of bias; Succeeds in collecting 25,000 signatures
The official campaign of leftist presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi said on Tuesday that Egypt’s government has dismissed a complaint it lodged against perceived bias shown by officials in favor of his main rival in the polls, ex-army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. “The campaign’s legal advisor headed to the cabinet’s headquarters on Tuesday afternoon to hand in the complaint, and after waiting for more than an hour, the secretariat refused to receive it,” read the campaign’s statement. The secretariat gave no reasons for doing so, Sabbahi’s team added, saying the complaint would be resent to the cabinet and submitted to the country’s electoral committee through documented post. The campaign also announced on Wednesday that it succeeded in collecting the 25,000 signatures required in order to run in the upcoming presidential elections. This news comes on the heels of the Constitution Party announcing its official support for Sabbahi’s presidential campaign. [Ahram Online, 4/16/2014]

Arab League to monitor Egypt’s presidential elections
The Arab League signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Egypt Tuesday to monitor the presidential elections, due on May 26 and 27. The Arab League will send observers to monitor the elections in all voting stations, a statement by the league said. In related news, Secretary General of the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) Counselor Abdel Aziz Salman said that they have received applications from twelve NGOs to monitor the elections. [SIS, KUNA, 4/16/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi campaign collects 500,000 signatures of support | DNE
  • Church expects Sisi and Sabbahi to attend Resurrection Mass | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi seeks support of tribal leaders in Sinai and the Delta | Mada Masr
  • MCIT, MOI sign protocol to integrate new technology into transportation sector: Communications ministry | DNE


Egyptian court jails 119 Morsi supporters
An Egyptian court sentenced 119 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood of former president Mohamed Morsi to three years each in prison on Wednesday in connection with protests last October against his overthrow, judicial sources said. More than fifty people were killed in the October 6 protests called by Morsi supporters, one of the bloodiest days since his overthrow by the military on July 3. Judge Hazem Hashad acquitted six people in the case. They faced charges including unlawful assembly and thuggery. [Reuters, 4/16/2014]

Court orders release of Wasat Party leader
A court in Giza has ordered the release of Wasat Party leader, Abul-Ela Madi, on EGP 10,000 bail. Ahmed Abul-Ela Madi, Madi’s son and lawyer, told Ahram Online, “If the prosecution does not appeal the verdict today, we will pay the bail and my father should be released as he is not detained over other cases,” Ahmed said. Madi is being held in Tora prison and faces accusations of inciting violence during clashes at Giza’s Nahda Square and in Bein al-Sarayat between opponents and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. [Ahram Online, 4/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Court resumes Morsi espionage trial on Wednesday | Egypt Independent
  • Trial of Al-Nahda Square events postponed to May 14 | Egypt Independent
  • Abu Ismail sentenced to seven years for forging mother’s nationality | Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Fifty-one Brotherhood supporters referred to criminal court for Helwan events last August | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Shater rejects meeting with fact finding commission, Islamist leaders deny torture | AMAY (Arabic)


Government to adopt new economic stimulus package
The interim government is currently preparing a new economic stimulus package that will focus on the industrial, housing and construction, communication and tourism sectors, “in order to restore economic activity and boost employment”, Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian announced. Dimian made the announcement during a meeting between International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde and the Egyptian delegation. The minister pointed out that the new package aims to revitalize and expand the activities of the private sector through removing the “bottlenecks” facing economic key sectors. He added that the package is deemed a “second phase” to the government stimulus plans, “as the first phase focused on governmental investments.” [DNE, 4/15/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt to hold annual talks with IMF after presidential elections | Ahram Online
  • Armed forces finalize plans to build 1 million youth residential units | DNE
  • Former Petroleum Minister says replacing electricity network will cost EGP 17 billion | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s tourism revenue drops by 43 percent in Q1 – official | Reuters
  • Civil society organizations call for budget transparency | DNE


Students rally at Al-Azhar and Fayoum universities
Students participated in rallies supporting the ousted president Mohamed Morsi at Al-Azhar and Fayoum Universities on Wednesday. Students at Al-Azhar’s campus in Nasr City clashed with security forces after they blocked traffic in front of the university. Security forces used tear gas against the demonstrating students and the students responded by throwing stones, fireworks and burning a police car. In Fayoum, dozens of students took part in a rally demanding the release of their colleagues. During the rally, students chanted slogans against military rule, police, and the presidential candidacy of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [AMAY (Arabic), 4/16/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt clamps hold over mosques to control message | AP
  • ‘Preacher of the Egyptian revolution’ hits day seven of hunger strike to protest injustice | Ahram Online
  • State paper Rose al-Youssef in dire finances | Mada Masr
  • Egyptian Observer for Rights and Freedoms condemns decision to expel fifty-one students from Al-Azhar University | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Dostour journalists end short strike | Mada Masr


Bomb attack wounds three civilians in Giza; Two bombs defused in Imbaba
Three civilians were wounded in a bombing in Giza governorate late on Tuesday, the interior ministry and medical officials said. A hand grenade was placed under a private car in the busy Faysal Street in Giza, causing a “limited bombing” and leaving two occupants and a passerby injured, the interior ministry said in a statement. The bombing was the second on Tuesday. Early in the morning, a first bomb ripped through a police post in the busy Galaa Square in Giza’s Dokki neighborhood. In Imbaba a police bomb squad defused two remote control bombs on Tuesday. In related news, the state-run Al Ahram reported that early Wednesday morning authorities arrested a suspect connected to Tuesday’s bombing in Dokki and four other bombing. Three other suspects escaped and remain at large. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 4/15/2014]

Explosion at Daqahliya school caused by gas leak
Following an explosion as a result of a gas leak at a girls school in Daqahliya governorate, thirty-five students suffered from suffocation and shock on Tuesday. Initial reports claimed the explosion was the result of a device thrown inside the Manshiyet al-Salam primary school premises. An explosion was heard, smoke was seen rising from inside the school, and five ambulances were deployed to the site of the incident, privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported. The students were transferred to a nearby hospital and treated for suffocation and panic attacks. [Mada Masr, 4/15/2014]

Also of Interest:


Mubarak era finance minister released over asylum status
Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali, who was released hours after his arrest in Paris, cannot be handed over to Egypt because of his United Kingdom-based political asylum status, Director of Egypt’s Interpol told the state-owned news agency MENA on Tuesday. Magdi Shafei said that Ghali presented his UK-based asylum status after he was arrested in France. Ghali was arrested during his visit to Paris on Monday on an international warrant over corruption charges as the Interpol issued a red notice against him. He was sentenced in absentia to thirty years in prison on charges of money laundering, illegal profiteering and wasting public funds last year. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/16/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Foreign ministry summons Iranian charge d’affaires for meeting | Ahram Online