Top News: Sabbahi’s Campaign Requests Official Announcement on State TV

Hamdeen Sabbahi’s presidential campaign has been in contact with Egypt’s State television in an effort to secure an opportunity to broadcast an official announcement similar to that of former defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s.


Electoral commission to discuss opening presidential nominations
The presidential elections commission will meet several times on Saturday and Sunday to discuss the final arrangements for opening the door for candidates to begin the nomination process. Hamdan Fahmy, the general secretary of the commission, announced the planned meetings in a statement to the media.  [AMAY (Arabic), Al-Ahram (Arabic), 3/28/2014]

Sabbahi’s campaign requests official announcement on State TV
Hamdeen Sabbahi’s presidential campaign has been in contact with Egypt’s State television in an effort to secure an opportunity to broadcast an official announcement similar to that of former defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s. Sisi addressed the nation in a televised speech announcing his resignation as defense minister and his intention to run for president. Masum Marzuq, the official media spokesman for the campaign, told reporters that the campaign is currently taking steps to obtain their own official announcement of state television and radio. [Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 3/28/2014]

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  • State committee seizes five new alleged Muslim Brotherhood affiliated NGOs | Ahram Online
  • Cabinet source: No reshuffle before presidential elections | Egypt Independent


Trial of Badie, forty-seven others over blocking Qalyub road adjourned to April 2
The Shubra al-Kheima criminal court adjourned on Saturday the trial of forty-eight Muslim Brotherhood suspects including supreme guide of the group Mohamed Badie, pro-Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hegazy, and Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy, on charges of blocking the agricultural road of Qalyub city this past July. Prosecutors claim the defendants blocked the road, directly causing the deaths of two and injuring thirty more. The trial was postponed after the defense team requested more time to examine reports. The defendants are accused of inciting violence, blocking the road, joining a terrorist group that calls for spreading violence, immobilizing traffic, damaging public and private properties, possessing weapons and intimidating the public. [Egypt Independent, 3/28/2014]


Egypt budget deficit down by six percent in eight months
Egypt’s budget deficit shrank by six percent in the first eight months of the 2013/14 fiscal year as compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to the finance ministry’s latest bulletin. The budget deficit is expected to reach between eleven and twelve percent by the end of the current fiscal year, the finance minister told reporters at his first press conference earlier in March. [Ahram Online, 3/28/2014]

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Sisi’s supporters plan last-minute rallies in his support
Supporters of Egypt’s former military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called for demonstrations on Friday in support of his bid for the presidency. The Tamarod campaign, which spearheaded protests against former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, on Thursday called for nationwide demonstrations in support of Sisi, who announced on Wednesday that he was resigning from his military position to stand for election. Dozens of Sisi supporters gathered in Tahrir square following Friday prayers to show their support for the former defense minister. [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic),  3/28/2014]

Brotherhood rallies clash with security forces
Police forces fired teargas at a pro-Muslim Brotherhood march in Cairo’s Maadi on Friday morning to disperse it. Dozens of Brotherhood supporters gathered at Sawares Square in Maadi chanting against former defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s announcement that he will run for presidency, the Middle East News Agency reported.They also chanted against the army and the police, prompting security forces to fear teargas bombs at them to disband them, the agency said. In the nearby city of Helwan, Al-Masry Al-Youmreported that police exchanged fire with Muslim Brotherhood supporters who began a rally after Friday prayer. In Gharbeya, police arrested six individuals after breaking up a rally against Sisi’s presidential candidacy. [ Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 3/28/2014]

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Sinai militants threaten workers, army arrests forty-one militants
A militant group based in Egypt’s Sinai is threatening workers and contractors building a security wall around a volatile town in the northern part of the peninsula. The al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said in an Internet statement late Thursday that the barrier seeks to isolate the town of al-Arish as part of a “repressive siege” by the authorities. In related news, security forces have arrested forty-one terrorist elements in Sinai on Thursday. The armed forces demolished three houses, twenty-eight huts, and twenty-five unlicensed motorcycles used by terrorists and extremists, said Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali on his Facebook page. They destroyed three tunnels and five tunnel entrances that link Egypt to Gaza through Rafah. [AP, Aswat Masriya, 3/28/2014]

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  • Gaber Nassar: Private security companies refused to contract with Cairo University | Egypt Independent


Washington declares neutrality in Egypt’s upcoming elections
The United States vowed Thursday it was not backing any particular candidate in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections, with former Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi strongly favored to win. “The United States does not support individual parties or candidates in Egypt’s elections,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in an email to AFP. During a press briefing Thursday, Harf called on the Egyptian government to conduct the upcoming elections “in a manner that is free, fair, transparent, where candidates are able to campaign freely – any candidates are able to campaign freely – without fear of harassment or intimidation.”  [Ahram Online, 3/27/2014]

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