sham-election watch: january

 

  • Jan 31: Sisi makes his strongest and angriest statements yet, talking about how he will not leave the ‘security of Egypt’ to just anyone and asked people to give him another carte blanche to restore security to the country against the ‘evil people’. He threatened those who are ‘thinking only’ of harming Egypt’s security and trying to ‘sit on this chair’, saying he will not allow it.
  • Jan 30: Infamous lawyer Samir Sabri filed a lawsuit against the public figures who posted the online statement asking people to boycott the elections, claiming that they are inciting against the State.
  • The National Elections Authority (NEA) released the preliminary list of applicants who have qualified for candidacy in the 2018 presidential election. The list features sitting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ghad al-Thawra Party leader Moussa Mostafa. [Mada Masr]
  • The 25-30 parliamentary coalition which considers itself an opposition inside parliament issued a statement regarding the sham elections saying that it was a sorry state in the history of Egypt.
  • Eight political parties decided to boycott the elections and called their campaign ‘Stay at home.’
  • Jan 29: Candidate Ahmed El Fadali who just yesterday announced he would run against Sisi, has withdrawn.
  • Dar El Iftaa [Council for Fatwas] says “Anyone who abstains from voting is a sinner.”
  • Moosa Mostafa Moossa presented himself at the National Elections Authority 15 minutes before the Council closed its doors. His aides were shown running through the streets to reach the NEA. Later that day, Moosa gave a press conference in which he said he expected Sisi to win because he deserves it and that he himself was not running as a stooge. When asked by a journalist how he gathered 47 thousand forms in 24 hours, he responded with irritation that he had been working on it since Shafeeq withdrew from elections. The journalist asked him how come his name was not in any notary office, to which he expressed anger and irritation with no credible response.
  • Statement

    A military appeals court upheld Armed Forces Colonel Ahmed Konsowa’s six-year sentence, which was issued in December when Konsowa was charged with expressing his political views as an active military officer, in violation of military regulations.[Read more here and on Mada Masr]

  • Jan 28: Statement by Justice Geneina, Dr. Hazem Hosny, former parliamentarian and presidential candidate Mohamed Anwar Sadat, and former presidential candidate Abol Fottoh on obstructing the right of Egyptians to free presidential elections, demanding the disbanding of the National Elections Committee for accepting this obstruction contrary to the law and constitution.
    In addition, Sadat, head of the Reform and Development Party, called on civil and political forces to march peacefully to the Itihadiya
    Update
    : Some of those who allegedly signed the statement denied that this was a statement issued in collaboration with each other but rather they signed it as a possible initiative.
  • Moosa – running by order of the regime.

    Jan 28: a sudden new presidential candidate has surfaced. His name is Moosa Mostafa Moosa, and he had previously – and still does of course – support Sisi. He is head of the Al Ghad Party which supports Sisi after fighting with Ayman Nour. It should be noted that he has little over 24 hours to gather signatures to be eligible for elections – which the regime will surely provide him.  Indeed, he will receive 20 endorsements from MPs to meet candidacy requirements, members of the Alliance to Support Egypt in Parliament tell Mada Masr. Ayman Nour, on his part, says Moosa has been indicted and imprisoned for a year before for fraud in Saudi Arabia and that he has no college graduate certificate. His Facebook page reveals his complete and total support of Sisi.
    Read also Reuters coverage.

  • Justice Hisham Geneina

    Jan 27: Justice Hisham Geneina, who had exposed the corruption of the regime last year when he was the Auditor General, and was removed by the Sisi regime, has been attacked in what is most likely a failed assassination attempt or kidnap. [read more here in a separate blog post] The ministry of interior naturally denied its involvement and said it was a road-rage accident.

  • Another new candidate surfaced named Mahmoud Ramadan. He is apparently an author of several books on Egypt.
  • A new candidate surfaces 48 hours before closing candidate acceptance. His name is Ahmed El Fadali, head of Al Salam Democratic Party [just one of the minor parties no one has ever heard of].
  • Infamous Lawyer Mortada Mansour backtracks on presidential bid. Not that it was serious in the first place.
  • Meanwhile an Egyptian newspaper writes a headline that Sisi is a man who fears only God.
  • Jan 26: Egypt’s decrepit Wafd party has settled on fielding a candidate for president—a candidate who has endorsed Sisi for the job, namely El Sayed El Badawi. Today he is undergoing the required National Elections Authority (NEA)’s medical examination just hours before the NEA’s Friday deadline.

    El Wafd Party’s Badawi

    This last minute pressure to run for president is to ensure that Sisi does not run alone and to show the world that there are other candidates permitted to run too. If Sisi ran for president alone, he would need, by law, 5% of voters for him which is a mere 2.5 million people.

    It should be noted that El Badawi has several law suits claiming fraud and corruption pending against him already. In addition, El Wafd Party has expressed its position before, saying that they supported Sisi, and now suddenly they put up a puppet runner to run against him.

    In search of a loser?

    Al Qabas newspaper published an article with the headline: “Searching for a presidential hopeful who will lose against Sisi.”

    Social media had a field day making fun of El Badawi and the forced decision to run, even the Egyptian newspaper Al Mogaz wrote about it.

    Because of El Badawi’s history of fraud and law suits, some lawyers wanted to file complaints with the National Elections Authority about the inelligibility of El Badawi. However the NEA issued a statement saying that no one may file a complaint against a candidate’s eligibility except the candidate running against him – and that would be Sisi of course.

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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

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.

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2018: 1st month – Copts addendum

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.

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