Egypt Media Roundup – Apr 24, 2014

04/24/2014 . By TIMEP

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TOP STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

Egypt’s High Elections Committee has reported no objections to either of the presidential candidate nominations and that review of the candidates’ applications may be completed early. The HEC has also granted permission of media coverage of the presidential elections, and will begin to supply media passes to those who apply. [Egypt Independent, Shorouk-ar] Read More..

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Security Sector

Egypt’s military has claimed that it has gained “complete control over the situation” in the Sinai Pensinsula during a press conference commemorated Sinai Liberation Day. “There is obvious stability in Sinai despite rumors that there are still terrorist elements and tunnels in north Sinai,” said Major General Mohamed al-Shahat, who heads Egyptian forces in the peninsula, in comments carried by state news agency MENA. [Reuters, Ahram, Arutz ShevaRead More..

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Foreign Relations

The United States’ highly publicized decision to release some of Egypt’s frozen military aid yesterday provoked concerns that the US was supplying military aid to a regime that hasn’t yet shown commitment to a democratic transition. However, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren justifies the US’ decision, saying, “We’ve identified a very significant mutual national security interest. It is in our interest; it is in America’s national security interest for Egypt to continue battling terrorism in the Sinai.” [Al Monitor, Bloomberg, VOARead More..

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Rights & Freedoms

Egypt’s ban on the film “Halawet Roh” has stirred international attention, primarily due to the fact that Egypt’s prime minister intervened in the censorship board’s duties by personally pulling the film. The Egyptian Creativity Front, a coalition comprising the country’s three main artistic unions has slammed the move as an “assault on the freedoms of thought, expression and art.” [VarietyRead More..

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Economy

The Egyptian government is reporting that they will buy 4.25million tons of local wheat by July of 2014–a record purchase of wheat, Egypt generally imports 5-10million tons of wheat per year. [AhramRead More.. 

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MORE STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

 Foreign Policy: The Candidate in his Labrinyth 

In this article: Abdel Fattah al Sisi’s 2014 presidential campaign differs greatly from those in 2012, as he has, literally and figuaratively, protected himself with an army of supporters. Eric Trager writes, “The Brotherhood’s blood lust — as well as rising violence against police and military targets — has compelled many Egyptians to support a strongman like Sisi ever more ardently.” However, there is another portion of Egypt that feels as though “there is simply nobody else.” Despite this, the Sisi campaign is convinced there is a significant risk to Sisi’s life and they go to great lengths to protect him. “Sisi now sleeps in an undisclosed location. He will also send emissaries into the countryside to stump on his behalf, rather than making campaign appearances.”

 Sabahi’s challenge: provide a workable civil model for the governance of Egypt 

Daily News Egypt: Sabahy’s challenge

In this article: Nervana Mahmoud writes on the challenges that leftist politician and presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi faces in the upcoming election–namely, running against a man that has, for all intents and purposes, already been elected. Mahmoud writes: “regardless of the intentions of the military-backed interim authority and how it will conduct the presidential race, Sabahy has no choice now but to make the most of his presidential bid. Sabahy’s real challenge is neither the conduct nor the outcome of the 2014 election, but whether he can provide a workable civil model for the governance of Egypt.”

Security Sector

 10 Brotherhood members arrested in home raids–clashes break out in Beni Suef as a result 

Ahram: Clashes erupt in Upper Egypt over arrests of Islamists

In this article: Police raided the homes of alleged Islamists in Beni Suef, prompting a series of clashes to erupt between security forces and Morsi-supporters. The fights broke out in Al-Maymoun after Morsi supporters allegedly blocked railroad tracks and halted train movement. Police attempted to disperse the crowds with teargas and blocked roads. 10 Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested in the raids.

Rights & Freedoms

 Amrou Kotb: “If protests and demonstrations are no longer effective and calls for reconciliation fall upon deaf ears, perhaps it’s time for nonviolent activists to look to community service as a vehicle for change” 

Atlantic Council: Resurrecting the Egyptian Conscience to Say No to Violence

In this article: Amrou Kotb speaks on the disillusionment with violence that is beginning to occur in Egypt. He says, “Voices of reason must regain consciousness and recover their sensitivity to the loss of life, and then these voices must take action to condemn its occurrence.” Kotb discusses changing the approach of change, and remembering the people behind the revolution. He quotes a local NGO VP, who says: “In Egypt we are at a point where protest is no longer an effective tool for activism,” El Shalakany says. “The early movers of the revolution, the ones who were in Tahrir on January 25th, have realized this and have moved on to a 9 to 5 approach.” El Shalakany explains that change is a fulltime job and that “activists are now getting involved in their communities, they are working with NGOs or local community initiatives to sponsor youth development programs or improve living conditions in their immediate surroundings.”

Economy

 Limiting challenges to government contracts: Increase Foreign investment and also corruption? 

Reuters: New law to lure investors to Egypt could feed corruption, critics say

In this article: The new law preventing third party challenges to contracts made with the government seeks to encourage foreign investors, but will also increase opportunities for corruption. “Uncertainty over the legality of contracts has been one factor behind the lack of foreign investment into Egypt since the Arab Spring revolution, and so this law could provide the protection that some investors have been craving,” said Jason Tuvey, assistant economist at Capital Economics.

Foreign Relations

 Ambassador to Iraq expected to be nominated as Cairo’s new ambassador 

Al Monitor: US expected to tap Iraq envoy for Cairo  

In this article: Stephen Beecroft, the US Ambassador to Iraq, is expected to be nominated to be the next US envoy to Egypt. The US embassy in Cairo has not had a full-time ambassador since Anne Patterson’s controversial tenure. Al-Monitor reports that, “The anticipated nominations come as Secretary of State John Kerry informed Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy Tuesday that he will certify to Congress that Egypt is complying with its strategic commitments to the US to counter terrorism and proliferation as well as with the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the State Department said in a read-out of the phone call Tuesday. The certification is expected to make way for the US to release Apache helicopters to Egypt.”

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