Top News: Supreme Constitutional Court to Rule on Parliamentary Elections Laws

Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) adjourned on Tuesday the trial determining the constitutionality of the parliamentary elections laws to March 1, as a verdict is expected to be returned next session.


Ahmed Ezz says his exclusion from election goes against the revolution
Prominent Mubarak-regime figure and steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz defended his decision to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections in his first television appearance since the 2011 revolution. In an interview broadcast on Al-Nahar television, Ezz asserted that he had a right to run for election and that excluding him goes against what he called the “beautiful values” of the 2011 revolution. “My only goal is to contribute to the development of my country through a legislative position that I have plenty of experience in,” said Ezz, who served as a representative for Mounifeya in Mubarak’s last three parliaments. During the interview, Ezz also admitted he was partly responsible for the anger of the people that exploded in 2011, adding, “for that I will apologize to my last breath.” Ezz said that he did not create Mubarak’s regime, that he worked within it and accepted its rules, adding that he regarded himself as a “reformist” who tried to bring about “gradual” changes. Ezz is also among those who challenged the High Electoral Commission decision to exclude National Democratic Party (NDP) candidates from the upcoming parliamentary elections. The Administrative Court will rule on the issue on March 1, while the Kefaya Movement has filed five formal lawsuits at the Administrative Court to ensure NDP members’ exclusion from the race. The Administrative Court will also rule on the exclusion of 254 parliamentary candidates in early March, and referred the appeal filed by Ahmed Ezz on his exclusion from the elections, to the Mounifeya Administrative Court. [Mada Masr, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 2/25/2015]

Also of Interest


Supreme Constitutional Court to rule on parliamentary elections laws
Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) adjourned on Tuesday the trial determining the constitutionality of the parliamentary elections laws to March 1, as a verdict is expected to be returned next session. The SCC’s Board of Commissioners last Saturday responded to six lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the House of Representatives Law, Political Rights Law, and Parliamentary Constituencies Law, issuing a nonbinding opinion that agreed with the plaintiffs. Constitutional expert and former deputy prime minister, said in an interview on Wednesday, that he expects the SCC to deem the Parliamentary Constituencies Law unconstitutional. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 2/25/2015]

Court sentences ten juvenile ultras group members to prison
A juvenile court sentenced ten members of the Ultras White Knights group to two years prison on Tuesday. The trial dates back to clashes that broke out between the ultras group members and security forces last August in Cairo’s Shubra neighborhood. Prosecutors accused the ten defendants of violating the protest law by organizing an unauthorized march. On February 8, violence broke out ahead of a game between the Enppi and Zamalek soccer clubs, leaving at least nineteen people dead. Following the violence earlier this month, soccer across the country has been suspended. [Aswat Masriya, 2/24/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Nazif cleared in Al-Ahram corruption case | DNE
  • Court considers labelling April 6 ‘terrorist organization’ | DNE
  • Constitutional Court shuns verdict inquiring about members pay | Egypt Independent
  • Leading militant receives second death sentence | DNE, Aswat Masriya


Egyptian pound steady at official auction, weaker on black market
The Egypt’s central bank kept the pound steady at 7.53 to the dollar at a foreign exchange auction on Wednesday. The central bank said it offered $40 million on Wednesday and sold $38.4 million at a cut-off price of 7.5301 pounds per dollar, the same as at the previous sale on Monday. A trader on the unofficial market said the pound was changing hands for 7.69 per dollar on Wednesday, weaker than the 7.65 quoted Monday. The central bank has now kept the official exchange rate steady for more than three weeks after letting the pound weaken in an effort to wipe out black market trading.  [Reuters, 2/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • IMF report shows Egypt loses 34 percent in annual GDP due to economic gender gap | Egypt Independent
  • Russian wheat arriving in Egypt after export tax delays -trade | Reuters
  • ECESR: Foreign investments don’t equal economic development | Egypt Independent
  • Trade minister travels to Spain to promote March economic summit | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt goes back on decision regulating allocation of new cigarette tax to health budget | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt banks saw cash inflows of over $400 million in a week | Ahram Online


NCHR member says 140 detainees expected to be released
Some 140 detainees, who were imprisoned recently, many for breaching the protest law, are expected to be released within days, a member of Egypt’s National Council for  Human Rights Council (NCHR) said on Tuesday. The list represents a first batch of prisoners to be set free, human rights lawyer Hafez Abu Seada said, after Egypt’s president promised on Sunday to release “unjustly imprisoned Egyptians.” Three lists of detainees drafted by NCHR, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, and young journalists had been presented to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in recent months for him to consider for presidential pardon, totaling 1,100 names. Egyptian human rights groups and parties had their hopes dashed, however, as the released prisoners did not include most of the names in the submitted lists. In an interview, NCHR member Salah Sallam criticized the body’s advisory role and called for the council’s powers to include the right to investigate human rights abuses cases inside prisons and detention centers without permission from the public prosecutor. He also called for NCHR decisions to be binding. [Ahram Online, DNE, 2/24/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Rights groups express concern over Shura Council verdict | DNE, Mada Masr
  • Alaa al-Aswany: Mubarak and his men acquitted, revolutionary youth imprisoned | Egypt Independent
  • Sufi orders to field followers in Egypt’s parliamentary elections | Ahram Online
  • Human rights in Egypt face obstacles that will soon be eliminated: Ziada | DNE
  • We have human rights violations, whoever overlooks them is blind: Saad Eddin Ibrahim | DNE
  • We have suffered legacy of deteriorating human rights for 60 years: Zaria | DNE
  • Hundreds of farmers protest bulldozing of their lands | Egypt Independent
  • Sources: Salafi Da’awa sheikhs allowed to deliver sermons in mosques | Egypt Independent
  • Video: Security forces beat residents in gas queue | Egypt Independent
  • Fourteen Brotherhood supporters arrested in Minya for violating protest law | EGYNews (Arabic)


Eight militants killed, twelve injured in North Sinai
At least eight militants were killed and twelve others injured in Sheikh Zuweid in an airstrike launched by the Egyptian army Wednesday, according to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram citing security sources. Five others were killed Tuesday in al-Arish, according to several media outlets, although the Military Spokesman is yet to release a statement on the matter. A military source told Aswat Masriya that Apaches shelled three meeting points of Egypt’s deadliest militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, in Sheikh Zuweid, as well as other strongholds for the group in south Rafah. Meanwhile, conflicting reports circulated Monday on militants marching in the middle of Sheikh Zuweid, urging residents to take their side against security forces in written leaflets handed to residents. The Sinai-based militant group distributed leaflets to residents with direct threats of decapitation if they were found collaborating with the armed forces in their operations in the peninsula, several North Sinai residents, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told Daily News Egypt. Major Ahmed Abdel Reheem of Sheikh Zuweid police station, however, denied that armed militants marched in the middle of Sheikh Zuweid without security stopping them. [DNE, DPA, Aswat Masriya, 2/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Two arrested with IEDs in Mansoura: Ministry of Interior | DNE
  • Security forces arrest alleged Brotherhood terrorist cell in Alexandria | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egyptian, US Defense Ministers committed to strengthening security partnership
Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhy and his American counterpart Ash Carter reaffirmed late Tuesday “their shared commitment to strengthening the security partnership between Egypt and the United States.” In a phone call on Tuesday, Carter expressed condolences to Egypt for victims of a recent attack on twenty-one Egyptian nationals in Libya. The US Defense Secretary said his country is willing cooperate with Egypt to “meet security challenges.” Sobhy stressed the “need to strengthen global coalitions against terrorism and extremism.” [Aswat Masriya, 2/25/2015]

Libya political deal won’t defeat ‘terrorism’ says Egypt FM
Egypt said Tuesday a political accord in Libya would not be enough to tackle the jihadist threat in the country, after Western states balked at military intervention following Egyptian air strikes. Shoukry arrived in Paris Wednesday morning for the second leg of a tour that also includes visits to Tunisia, Russia and China. Shoukry will also meet with his Saudi counterpart Saud al-Faysal in Paris to discuss escalating regional tensions, particularly in Syria and Yemen. Shoukry met his Tunisian counterpart on Tuesday discuss the repatriation of Egyptians fleeing Libya through the Libyan-Tunisian border. An Egyptian border official says some 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since the release of a grisly beheading video by Islamic State militants, with over 2,000 fleeing in the past twenty-four hours. [AFP, DNE, 2/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Australia imposes sanctions on Egypt-based militant group | AP
  • Russia plans helicopter services center in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt to construct dam in South Sudan to generate electricity | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt calls on international agencies to fund Waw Dam in South Sudan | MENA
  • First Arab portal on transparency and anti-corruption launched | Egypt Independent
  • Newspaper: Egypt seeks approval to form unified Arab troops| Egypt Independent
  • Two US citizens arrested in Cairo airport over trying to smuggle EGP750,000 | DPA
  • Egypt-Oman committee concludes activities | SIS