election watch..

This post will be updated until election day

  • Jan 21: Parliamentarian Salah Hasaballah said that to-date, 546 of 595 parliamentarians signed proxies for the election of Sisi.
  • Jan 21: Presidential candidate lawyer Mortada Mansour went to support Sisi’s campaign for presidential election!!
  • Jan 20: Reuters reporters witnessed Egyptian voters discussing getting paid to support Sisi at notary offices set up to to collect ballot signatures: “A Reuters reporter visiting three notary offices in Cairo witnessed about 10 Egyptian voters discussing when they would receive payments they had been promised in return for supporting Sisi and how much they would be paid.”
  • Jan 20: Other minor candidates are now popping up as they do with every election. [view the bottom of this post]
  • Jan 20: The National Elections Committee [appointed by Sisi] declared the conditions for candidacy for the presidential elections.
  • Jan 19: Sisi announced officially that he will run for president. The announcement came during an entire day of a ‘conference’ called “The Story of a Nation” where Sisi made a speech explaining his ‘accomplishments’. Among the things he said is that he did 11000 projects in 4 years, at the rate of 3 projects a day – something, he claimed, no one had ever done before in any country. Naturally the numbers do not add up. 11,000 projects would produce 7 projects a day, an impossibility. Sisi also stated that among the presidential hopefuls are ‘corrupt people’ and declared ‘I will not permit them to come near the presidency.’ He urged people to ‘choose wisely’ and not give their votes to the ‘undeserved’.

  • In another TV interview entitled ‘Ask the President’, he answered some pre-set questions about the elections and his candidacy. It should be noted that no other presidential hopeful was permitted to go on TV or to hang posters on the street or to campaign for their programs.

  • It should also be noted that Sisi fired his intelligence chief, Khaled Fawzi, and ‘temporarily’ brought General Kamel Abbas, an infamous general and strong supporter of Sisi. He also brought in his son  though not officially titled as chief of intelligence.
  • Jan 19: General Anan announced in a video that he will be running for president. It should be noted that Anan is still officially in service in the army – which makes him ineligible to run and makes it a crime to run [as when Officer Konsowa made his announcement and received a 6 year prison sentence].
    Anan also said that he would have two VPs if elected: Dr. Hazem Hosni and Judge Hisham Geneina, both of whom are popular opposition to Sisi.
    Update Jan 20: naturally attacks against him began. One newspaper stated that Qatar was funding Anan to the turn of $1 billion.

El Zarqa school

  • Jan 16: Sisi decided to make a cosmetic change to his cabinet. The new cabinet includes 6 women. He also made changes in his intelligence apparatus. He also removed Gen. Khald Fawzy, head of intelligence, and replaced him with a new head for the general intelligence.
  • Jan 16: Young man stood in the middle of Talaat Harb Sq. downtown Cairo and called out telling people to ‘elect the bastard’ and directed expletives at Sisi to much applause from passers by, some of whom participated with him in chanting.
  • Meanwhile, a newspaper published there was unprecedented support for people marching with signed forms and proxies for Sisi from a village called Zefta.
  • Jan 15: El Zarqa, Damietta: a school [as did other schools] gave a vacation to its employees specifically to go and do proxies for the election of Sisi. They posted the announcement in school.

    Infamous lawyer Mortada Mansour

  • Jan 14: New leaks released by intelligence to TV host Ahmed Mousa claim to reveal recent conversations with three opposition figures: lawyer Tarek Al Awadi, Dr. Hazem Abdel Azim and Dr. Mamdouh Hamza talking to an intelligence officer about their total support of Sisi in the elections. All three categorically deny it and Al Awadi said he would file a lawsuit.
  • Jan 13: Lawyer, parliamentarian and pro-government Mortada Mansour announced his candidacy for president. His son, also a parliamentarian whose opponent El Shobaky won the elections but was still replaced by the son in spite of a court order, stated in the media that he supports El Sisi. This only confirms that Mansour’s running for presidency is just another sham.
  • Former parliamentarian Mohamed Anwar Sadat stated on TV head of the Reform and Development Party, said that he will decide on whether to run for president or not on Monday, Jan 15.
    Update Jan 15: Sadat declared he will not run in Egypt’s presidential election, citing “difficult political circumstances” and “fear for the safety of his campaign members.” He also cited the absence of a clear guarantee for the integrity and impartiality of the competition.
  • Jan 12: 512 parliamentarians signed forms in support of Sisi’s re-election. In addition, they also opened their campaign headquarters in their towns to gather signatures in what Al Youm Al Sabea newspaper called ‘A parade of love’.
  • Pro-Sisi ‘Free Egyptians’ party begins a campaign called ‘Knocking on doors’ that literally knocks on people’s doors to tell them about Sisi’s accomplishments.

    Former chief of staff Anan

  • Jan 11: Retired Chief of Staff Sami Enan has announced his intention to run in Egypt’s 2018 presidential election. On the same day, his campaign made yet another announcement that he was still thinking about it and had not come to a decision.

    Shafeeq statement

  • On Jan 2nd, presidential hopeful Shafiq visited a church accompanied by heavy security. It should be noted that Shafiq remains in house arrest at the Marriott since he arrived in Cairo. On Jan 7th, Shafeeq issued a statement saying it was his final decision to withdraw from the presidential race.
  • ‘Achievements’

    AlGomhoorya, an official government newspaper wrote an article about ‘Sisi’s achievements that included 13 points of complete hypocrisy. Among them ‘planted in Egyptians a sense of pride’, ‘genius ability to build’, ‘honesty and transparency’, ‘wisdom and ability to target enemies with surprise attacks’.. etc.

  • In the designated ‘silent days’ before elections, posters of Sisi and support for him are everywhere.

The other ‘minor candidates’:

  • Meguid

    A lawyer named Ahmed Abdel Meguid said he is running for president. He stated that his first order of business will be to cancel the constitution and run the coun

    Bimbawi from Shebeen El Qom

    try by the Quran.

  • A man named Haj Bimbawi from Shebeen Al Qom, announced he would run for president. It should noted that Bimbawi ran for president in front of Sisi in the previous elections but withdrew shortly before it started. This time he stated that he was running even though Sisi is a capable man and leader who knows the issues that matter for Egypt. Naturally it is just a charade.
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the untimely death of Afrootoo

Jan 5th – There were clashes in Mokattam, Cairo, after a detainee died in police custody. 22 year old Mohamed from Mokattam, otherwise known as Afrootoo, died in police custody the evening he was arrested. The medical examiner’s report stated that he died of torture, from a fractured spleen/liver causing internal abdominal bleeding as a result of a severe blow to the abdomen. El Watan published the examiner’s news and removed it within an hour although the tweet is still there as of the writing of this post. Other papers such as Masrawy and El Fajr also published the report, but Masrawi removed it two hours after publication and replaced it with ‘The Medical Examiner did not yet issue a report”. Continue reading

the alleged leaks

The New York Times posted an article that claimed Sisi and his security apparatus knew and approved of the Jerusalem move and asked their media hosts to support it. They also claim there are leaked tapes of TV hosts Azmi Megahed, parliamentarian and TV host Hassasseen, TV host Mofeed Fawzi, actress Yosra , actress Hala Sidqi and actress Afaf Shoeib. In one conversation with Azmi Megahed, an alleged security official named Kholi said: “I was just calling to tell you what our public stance is, so if you go on TV or speak in an interview, I am telling you what is the stance of Egypt’s national security apparatus and what it stands to benefit from in this matter of announcing Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, O.K.?”

Egypt denied that an officer by that name even existed, even though when asked about the tape, Megahed confirmed it and stated that he knew the officer who was his ‘friend’ and that the conversation happened and that he agreed with it: “I am friends with Ashraf [El Kholi] and we talk all the time,” Mr. Megahed said according to the same article in the NYT. “Another intifada would be bad. I have no problem saying all of the things you have heard in that call in public.” Continue reading

2018: 1st month: a fake leak, a fake election, fake achievements, a dispute, hangings, and other stuff

This post will be updated throughout the month of January 2018

Presidency/Government:

  • First presidential decree of 2018 was published in the official newspaper extending the emergency laws another 3 months.
  • The New York Times published an article about alleged leaks of state security personnel calling famous journalists and actresses to dictate to them what they should stress when they are interviewed or when they go on air. [Click here to see my post on this issue]
  • A halo? Really?

    Sisi reactivated ‘Ask the President’ initiative to communicate with citizens “starting Wednesday January 10 until January 15, through the initiative’s official website”.

  • Parliamentarians sign 510 proxies to Sisi for a second  term as president.
  • A picture of Sisi at the Cathedral circulated social media claiming that there was a halo around his head. The photographer said that he didn’t know that he took the picture that way but that he was pleased he did. The picture clearly shows that Sisi was standing in front of a bishop whose white head turban centered exactly on Sisi’s head.
  • Jan 16 and 17: Sisi reshuffled his cabinet and made some minor cosmetic changes. The cabinet now includes 6 women for the first time in Egypt. He also removed the head of intelligence Khaled Fawzi and replaced him quietly without publication in any Egyptian newspaper.
  • Sisi decided to sell the rights to renovate and benefit from the Pyramids area to an Emirati company called Prism.  for 20 years.

Continue reading

2018: 1st month – Copts addendum

This post is being updated throughout the month [latest updates at the bottom]

Christmas Mass Jan 6th and 7th

Sisi at New Cathedral surrounded by massive security detail.

  • Sisi attended Christmas Mass at the Cathedral for a few minutes surrounded by a massive number of security personnel. People were heard chanting in support of Sisi. However it should be noted that church attendance was by invitation only and it was not open to the public. In fact many had been banned from attendance [see newspaper headline below].

  • Meanwhile HG Bishop Makarios of Minya leads Christmas eve mass with the less fortunate Copts in Minya.
  • The first mass in 8 years in Maghagha, Minya, was on Christmas Eve, Jan 6th, at the headquarters of the Bishophric of Magaghah and El-Adwa.
  • The church of the Copts of El Sheikh Alaa village finally opened for prayers on Christmas Eve.
  • Church bans 300 people

    Jan 4th:Meanwhile,  Pope Tawadros said that ‘Sisi honored his promise and we will pray at the Cathedral in the New Administrative City on Christmas Day.

  • Church bans approximately 300 people from attending its Christmas Mass.
  • Christmas Mass was organized for the first time in Qanater Women’s Prison.

Continue reading