November 22, 2017

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  • Officers weigh in on military vote

    File photo of a polling station during last year's presidential elections. The SCC's ruling that army officers must be allowed to vote has stirred controversy.

    BY MAI SHAMS EL-DIN Cairo – Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) recently opined that the military and police have a constitutional right to vote, a ruling that sparked controversy over the possible politicization of both institutions already seen as having too much influence in politics. The ruling came as part of the SCC’s assessment of a reviewed version of the elections law by the Shoura Council, drafted in line with Egypt’s long-running tradition that bars army and police soldiers, conscripts and members of the security from voting while in service. The SCC deemed this part of the law as unconstitutional…

    Op-ed: Egyptian Democracy’s Last Chance?

    File photo of President Mohamed Morsi giving a speech in Tahrir Square after winning the elections in June 2012..

    BY ALVARO DE VASCONCELOS Cairo Egypt’s upcoming general election could help to consolidate its nascent democracy and provide legitimacy to the government’s efforts to address the social, political, economic, and security challenges facing the country. But no election, however successfully conducted, will be enough: Unless Egypt overcomes its current political polarization and builds a broad consensus that includes ruling Islamists and the secular opposition, its problems will persist, jeopardizing the prospect of a democratic future. Egypt’s lack of strong democratic institutions and its ongoing economic crisis are fueling social unrest and crisis, division, and hostility within the political system. At…

    Op-ed: The absurdity of ideology

    Screen grab in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace shows an Egypt that is literally splint in half as army erects concrete barriers to contain the violence between pro and anti-Morsi protesters.

    BY REHAM BARAKAT One of the most common phrases I’ve been hearing recently is “Egypt has plunged into chaos” followed by a nod by everybody around the table. Next comes the unanimous admission that “the country is now polarized,” substantiated by a statement that “the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters are pitted against everyone else.” Again everyone nods their head. The grand finale is “Mubarak was right when he said it is either me or chaos,” which is when the nodding of head actually stops and very bitter arguments ensue. There are those who agree with the fact that Mubarak…

    Turning point in Egypt’s militarization

    New Minister of Defense Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is sworn in.

    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…

    Editorial: Battle for the constitution

    The real bone of contention between SCAF and the Brotherhood is the constitution.

    BY RANIA AL MALKY Cairo: Today is a very happy day in the history of Egypt. Those who elected Morsi are happy because he won, and those who elected Shafik are happy because he won; and those who boycotted are happy because Tantawi tricked them both. Those who hate Mubarak are happy because he’s dead and those who love him are happy because he’s still alive. God bless Egyptian hashish. So went the joke, which in a few words summed up the level of chaos, polarization and disinformation suffocating Egyptians today, less than 24 hours before the Presidential Election Committee…

    A toothless president?

    Screen grab shows Mamdouh Shahin during the press conference held on Monday.

    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…

    Rocky road to constitution

    Egypt's PA reconvened briefly Tuesday in the absence of most liberal MPs.

    BY HEBA FAHMY Cairo: For months Egypt’s political parties struggled to reach consensus over the formation of the 100-member constituent assembly responsible for drafting the country’s first post-Mubarak constitution. Despite the objections of 10 political parties, which briefly threatened to upend the process once more, the panel was elected Tuesday. Only days before the presidential election runoff, when Islamist head of the Freedom and Justice Party Mohamed Morsi will contest the highest executive office against a stalwart supporter of the Mubarak regime, the party which holds the biggest block in parliament is facing criticism for once more attempting to dominate…

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