June 26, 2019

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  • Morsi and US, Egypt, Israeli relations

    BY AMRO ALI In 2007, Mohammed Morsi, then chairman of the Brotherhood’s political department and member of the Executive Bureau, complained of the inability of Washington to match its rhetoric on promoting democracy in Egypt. He said that Israel had no interest in a democratic Egypt as it, “would do more to support the Palestinians.” Now Morsi, having brokered a Gaza ceasefire has shown that his policy on the Palestinians is no more imaginative than Mubarak-era policies and, partly as a result of US approval, has undertaken a democratic rollback that has ignited Egypt’s streets. Morsi has inadvertently, and in…

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    Turning point in Egypt’s militarization

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: President Mohamed Morsi’s decisions to force the retirement of Minister of Defense Hussein Tantawi and assume powers once awarded to the military, are a turning point in Egypt’s decades-long legacy of state militarization and a defining feature in the Muslim Brotherhood’s future relationship with the generals. Two hours before iftar on Sunday, Morsi ordered the retirement of Tantawi and the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan and canceled an addendum to the interim constitution issued by the military in June, days before Morsi was elected president, in what was seen as a preemptive move…

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    Sinai’s tough questions

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: Egypt is teeming with answers to the question of who was behind the Sinai attack. In the first reports about the terrorist act that left 16 soldiers dead, media volunteered a culprit: Jihadi groups. Within 24 hours and before an official statement was made, Egyptians were trading theories which starkly reflected the political polarization of the country. In the same fashion that the word “Muslim” is occasionally confused with “Islamist extremist,” “Palestinian” became synonymous with “crazed jihadi”. The ruling was out in the first hours after the tragic attack: The jihadists are Palestinians from Gaza….

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    Proposed ministers reflect ‘continuity’

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: The preliminary list of new cabinet of ministers show continuity more than reform and is disappointing, observers said. “The government reflects more continuity, rather than change,” said Omar Ashour, director of the Middle East Studies at Exeter University. At least four ministers from the previous cabinet will remain under the leadership of the recently appointed premier Hesham Qandil, according to a list published by the official news agency MENA. These include Momtaz El-Saeid in finance and Mohamed Kamel Amr, minister of foreign affairs. These top or “sovereign” ministries were expected to be issues of contention…

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    Egypt’s stake in the Syrian revolution

    BY AMRO ALI When Tahrir Square was not playing host to Egypt’s revolutionary sequels, it became one of the chief unofficial nerve centres of the Syrian Revolution. Thousands of fleeing Syrians quickly connected with Egyptian activism, coordinated with the Syrian National Council (SNC), raised awareness amongst Egyptians, set up tents, launched weekly protests, collected donations, hosted conferences, pressured the nearby Arab League, and disseminated information from inside Syria with international media outlets and journalists based in Cairo. Syrian activities could be found in the shadow of the Arab League building and on the steps of the Alexandria library, the Bibliotheca…

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    A counter-revolution coalition

    BY HEBA HESHAM Cairo: In Egypt, a dictator was toppled and a civilian president was elected, but that’s not to say that the forces working relentlessly to sabotage the so-called transitional period are abating. Facts are misleadingly mixed with conspiracy theories to vilify the revolution and its supporters, while preserving the interests of the network of the the old regime and new players who want their share of the cake.Yet, observers can’t seem to agree on who exactly these forces are, some saying that the counter-revolution might not be solely orchestrated by remnants of the ousted regime. Many say that…

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    Morsi haunted by MB despite resignation

    BY HEBA HESHAM Cairo: Despite his resignation from the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), President Mohamed Morsi remains haunted by the group. Skeptics claim his authorities as president will be restricted by his “subordination” to them. When he was named Egypt’s new president, Morsi’s electoral campaign announced that he resigned from his position in the Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood and as chief of the FJP, a promise he had made as a gesture of goodwill. While Morsi was not obliged to do that, the gesture was necessary to restore trust in…

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    Morsi’s presidential challenges

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: Egypt’s first civilian president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, will enter a turf war during his first days in office as the world watches the rise of Islamists in anticipation. The former head of the Freedom and Justice Party set five main issues to tackle in his first 100 days as the head of state: Crippling traffic, failing security, a crumbling garbage collection system as well as bread and fuel shortages. Yet the more pressing challenges Morsi will face as president in the coming days are infinitely more compound. Before he can assume his role as president, Morsi…

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    MB flaunts confrontation chip

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: Less than a day before a new president is named, the politically conservative Muslim Brotherhood finds itself at the forefront of a major battle. Having lost parliament and possibly the presidential seat, the group has been forced to defend its gains using tactics that go beyond its usual deal-making and incremental reform approach. In a turbulent week fraught with rumored doomsday scenarios the Brotherhood saw the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolve a parliament led by its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. Its near win…

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    A toothless president?

    BY DALIA RABIE Cairo: Somewhere between casting the ballots and announcing a winner, the incoming president’s authorities were outlined through a constitutional declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Late Sunday, SCAF published an addendum to the constitutional declaration complementing the one issued on March 30, 2011, arguably stripping the president of basic authorities, rendering him practically powerless. As SCAF broadened its powers, it chipped away at the authorities the elected president was expected to assume. In the face of criticism, SCAF member General Mohamed Al-Asaar assured in a press conference Monday that the elected president will…

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