Hosni Mubarak

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Egypt: Low turnout as Egyptians vote in parliamentary elections amid fears over terror, economy | Associated Press

Egyptians trickled into mostly empty polling centers as they voted Sunday in the second stage of parliamentary elections that will produce the country’s first legislature since a chamber dominated by Islamists was dissolved by a court ruling in 2012. Tens of thousands of troops and policemen were deployed to safeguard the two-day vote, reflecting growing security concerns less than a month after a Russian airliner crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Russia has said the crash was caused by an onboard bomb, and a local Islamic State affiliate claimed the Oct. 31 attack. The attack led Russia to suspend flights to and from Egypt and Britain to cancel routes to the popular Sharm el-Sheikh resort, where the flight originated, dealing a major blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, which was already hurting from years of unrest.

Full Article: Egyptians vote in 2nd stage of parliamentary elections - US News.

Editorials: Egypt’s farcical elections | Middle East Eye

Egypt’s ongoing parliamentary elections – farcical in every sense, with a turnout so far of only 2 percent – are further proof that Egypt is witnessing the solidification of a quasi-authoritarian system of government, not a democratic revival. Most of Egypt’s new parliamentarians will be wealthy, elite, sympathetic to the nation’s current military president, and vehemently opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, which governed Egypt during a brief democratic transition in 2012 and 2013. In short, this will be a rubber stamp parliament, one that will serve as a tool for – rather than a check against – Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Al-Sisi recently passed a new election law that effectively cancels out the influence of Egypt’s political parties. According to the law, nearly 80 percent of parliamentary seats will be allotted to individuals. This individual system, which helped Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak consolidate power in the 1980s and 1990s, privileges wealthy elites with ties to the Egyptian establishment, of which Al-Sisi is a card-carrying member.

Full Article: Egypt’s farcical elections | Middle East Eye.

Egypt: Parliament story | Associated Press

Next week’s parliamentary elections are supposed to move Egypt closer to democracy and end a situation in which Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, first as the country’s strongman then as an elected president, has governed for more than two years with few apparent checks and balances. But with almost no effective opposition expected to run or make a mark, critics and analysts say the 596-seat legislature will be little more than a rubber stamp, leaving the former military chief free to power ahead with a high-octane, one-man campaign to revive the economy and influence the region while curbing opposition at home. The staggered vote, starting next week and continuing through December, will give Egypt its first elected legislature in more than three years. The resulting chamber will also signal the completion of the third and final stage of a political road map announced by el-Sissi himself when, as military chief, he led the July 2013 ouster of the nation’s first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, following a wave of mass protests against Morsi’s rule.

Full Article: Correction: Egypt Parliament story - Yahoo News.

Egypt: Parliamentary elections: ‘Who cares’? | Ahram Online

When he felt his vote would finally count after years of indifference, Mohamed Saad decided to cast his ballot in consecutive referendums and parliamentary and presidential elections after the popular uprising in 2011 renewed hope for a better future for Egypt. A little less than five years have passed and Saad lost his enthusiasm and passion. He realised that hope is a good breakfast, but a bad supper. “I won’t vote again; it’s useless. I will do nothing, absolutely nothing,” said the 25-year-old, who works in a travel agency in Downtown Cairo, referring to Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections that kick off 18 and 19 October after months of procrastination and legal wrangling. The election of Egypt’s House of Representatives will complete a roadmap drawn up following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and return legislative powers from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, but few feel the urgency left over from the days when heated political discussions yielded long voting queues and interesting debates over the credentials of potential lawmakers.

Full Article: Egypt's parliamentary elections: 'Who cares'? - Egypt Elections 2015 - Egypt - Ahram Online.

Egypt: Court defers parliamentary election: judicial sources | Reuters

An Egyptian court on Tuesday deferred a long-awaited parliamentary election due in March indefinitely after another court declared the election law’s provision on voting districts as unconstitutional, judicial sources said. Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012, when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. This delay prolongs a period in which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has wielded sole legislative authority and slows Egypt’s progress towards democracy since its first freely elected president was ousted by the army in 2013.

Full Article: Egypt court defers parliamentary election: judicial sources | Reuters.

Egypt: Presidential Election Set Amid Worry Over General’s Power | Wall Street Journal

Egypt’s military-backed government said it would hold presidential elections before a parliamentary vote, a reversal that stands to give the next president considerable legislative authority. That next leader looks increasingly likely to be the military’s chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who has indicated he is considering a bid for the nation’s highest office, buoyed by massive popular and political support. Few other potential candidates have emerged. Sunday’s decision changes the electoral schedule set by the military after it ousted Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in July. The new sequence will put the nation’s next leader in a position to influence voters to back the parliamentary candidates he supports. The decision sets the stage for more clashes with the Muslim Brotherhood, the now-outlawed Islamist group from which the deposed president hailed. The Brotherhood on Sunday called for more demonstrations.

Full Article: Egypt Sets Presidential Election, Amid Worry Over General's Power - WSJ.com.

Egypt: Regime Claims Legitimacy on Vote | Wall Street Journal

The military-backed government portrayed a two-day referendum to amend the constitution that ended on Wednesday as an endorsement of its legitimacy. The draft constitution is expected to be approved following a well-financed “yes” campaign promoted by the government, businessmen and liberal political parties. Ehab Badawy, the spokesman for the interim president, Adly Mansour, wrote in an email Wednesday that millions had voted to demonstrate their “belief in democracy.” The referendum was boycotted by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders were arrested after the July ouster of their leader, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Full Article: Egypt's Regime Claims Legitimacy on Vote - WSJ.com.

Egypt: Diaspora vote on new constitution | Al Jazeera

Just over a year ago, Egyptians living abroad voted in a referendum on a new constitution put forward by an elected Muslim Brotherhood-led government, which was ousted by the army last July following a period of violent unrest. Starting on January 8, thousands of people are expected to visit Egyptian embassies worldwide to cast ballots on another draft constitution. This one is supported by Egypt’s military-backed interim government, which – by banning Islamist parties and scrapping parts of the former government’s legislation – reflects the shift in power in Egypt. Expatriates will be able to vote until January 12, ahead of the referendum at home which is slated for January 14-15. “It’s essential that everyone votes in this referendum, whatever their vote may be,” said Sabry Fahmy, an Egyptian who lives in Doha, Qatar. “Whether it’s in favour of or against the constitution, your vote must be made. For us abroad, taking part in these polls has been one of our main gains from this saga.”  About 2.7 million Egyptians live outside the country, according to the International Organisation on Migration, but other reports peg the figure far higher – closer to eight million.

Full Article: Egyptian diaspora vote on new constitution - Middle East - Al Jazeera English.

Egypt: Presidential election overshadowed by further army power grab and voter fraud claims | Telegraph

Few analysts were willing to predict the outcome of the battle between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, a former general and aide to ex-President Hosni Mubarak, despite the Islamist movement’s long domination of the Egyptian street. The Brotherhood said opinion polls showed their man would win a free vote comfortably. But they also claimed that “fake voters” were appearing on polling station lists – dead people and members of the security forces, who in Egypt are supposed to remain neutral and are disqualified.

Full Article: Egypt presidential election overshadowed by further army power grab and voter fraud claims - Telegraph.

Egypt: High court nullifies parliamentary elections; calls for dissolution of parliament, raising new transition fears | The Washington Post

Egypt’s highest court ruled Thursday that the Islamist-dominated parliament should be dissolved because one-third of its members were elected unlawfully, blunting the astonishing political ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood and imperiling the country’s transition to democratic rule. The decision and a second one safeguarding the presidential candidacy of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq quickly strengthened the hand of forces linked to Egypt’s old regime, and significantly raised the stakes of the weekend’s runoff vote between Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi.

Full Article: Egypt’s high court calls for dissolution of parliament, raising new transition fears - The Washington Post.

Egypt: Presidential candidates file appeals to election commission, charging vote fraud | The Washington Post

Three top candidates in Egypt’s presidential race filed appeals to the election commission ahead of the deadline Sunday, alleging violations in the first round vote that they say could change the outcome. The appeals, alleging fraud, are likely to enflame an already explosive race, with two of the most polarizing candidates finishing first. Preliminary results from last week’s election placed Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, as the two candidates entering a June 16-17 runoff. Thirteen candidates were on the ballot. Young, liberal secularists who led the popular rebellion that overthrew longtime leader Hosni Mubarak last year failed to place a candidate in the runoff.

Full Article: Egypt presidential candidates file appeals to election commission, charging vote fraud - The Washington Post.

Egypt: Mubarak verdict adds to tension before Egypt vote amid calls for more mass protests | Al-Arabiya

Egyptian activists called for mass demonstrations on Tuesday to protest against verdicts handed down in the strongman’s murder trial. The pro-democracy April 6 movement, the Coalition of Revolution Youth and the Maspero Youth Union among others called for a mass protest at 1500 GMT on Tuesday. Thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo’s iconic al-Tahrir Square late Sunday to protest the acquittals given to nine defendants in the major trial that sent former president Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly to jail for life. Demonstrators demanded the formation of a civilian presidential council including defeated candidates Abdul Moniem Abul Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabbahi united under the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, who is running in the elections run-off, Mohammed Mursi, Egypt’s daily al-Masry al-Youm reported. Protesters also called for the retrial of all defendants in the case and called for the Political Isolation Law to be applied to Ahmed Shafiq, who is competing against Mursi in the election run-off on June 16 and 17.

Full Article: Mubarak verdict adds to tension before Egypt vote amid calls for more mass protests.

Egypt: Election commission denies Shafiq in first, weighs electoral appeals | Egypt Independent

The secretary general of the Presidential Elections Commission has denied rumors that Ahmed Shafiq garnered the most votes in the first round of the election held last week. “The counting is not yet complete,” Hatem Bagato told the website of the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram on Sunday, saying that the final results would not be announced before considering the five appeals submitted by presidential candidates. On Sunday, the election commission began to review the complaints over the poll, which has left Egyptians with a runoff choice between an Islamist apparatchik, Mohamed Morsy, and throwback candidate from the Hosni Mubarak era, Ahmed Shafiq. Both contenders seek to claim the mantle of the 25 January revolution, and are appealing to the many Egyptians who voted for more centrist figures in the first round.

Full Article: Election commission denies Shafiq in first, weighs electoral appeals | Egypt Independent.

Egypt: Election commission denies Shafiq in first, weighs electoral appeals | Egypt Independent

The secretary general of the Presidential Elections Commission has denied rumors that Ahmed Shafiq garnered the most votes in the first round of the election held last week. “The counting is not yet complete,” Hatem Bagato told the website of the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram on Sunday, saying that the final results would not be announced before considering the five appeals submitted by presidential candidates. On Sunday, the election commission began to review the complaints over the poll, which has left Egyptians with a runoff choice between an Islamist apparatchik, Mohamed Morsy, and throwback candidate from the Hosni Mubarak era, Ahmed Shafiq. Both contenders seek to claim the mantle of the 25 January revolution, and are appealing to the many Egyptians who voted for more centrist figures in the first round.

Full Article: Election commission denies Shafiq in first, weighs electoral appeals | Egypt Independent.

Editorials: Egypt's Polarizing Presidential Election | The Nation

Hours after the official results are announced in Egypt’s first-ever competitive presidential election, Ihab Badawi, a 28-year-old lawyer, is standing amid a throng of protesters in Tahrir Square. He holds aloft a cardboard placard bearing the smiling faces of the top two candidates—Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafik—crossed out with a pair thick black Xs. Traffic snarls around the crowd as he echoes chants rising above the cacophony of angry car horns. “We do not accept this outcome,” Badwai says. “We are here to send a clear message to the military council and the rest of the corrupt ruling regime: the Egyptian people will not be silent.” Less than two miles away, a group of protesters breaks into and vandalizes Shafik’s campaign headquarters in the residential district of Dokki before setting it ablaze. Demonstrations erupt in other cities across the country, including Alexandria, Port Said, Ismailia and Suez. In the wake of the first round of Egypt’s landmark presidential election, the country is as polarized as ever, with two candidates sitting on opposite poles of a divide that has characterized Egyptian politics for decades.

Full Article: Egypt's Polarizing Presidential Election | The Nation.

Egypt: Egyptians Vote for President in Their First Free Elections | NYTimes.com

Egyptians went to the polls Wednesday to choose their first freely elected president in a vote that could end 15 chaotic months of military rule and define the future of political Islam. It was a new climax in a cascade of scenes that would have been unthinkable just two years ago, when election days meant that state television would film former President Hosni Mubarak walking a red carpet to his special polling place in a predictably fraudulent plebiscite. But on Wednesday, millions of Egyptians waited patiently in long lines, often holding scraps of cardboard against the desert sun, and debated with their neighbors over which of the five leading contenders most deserved their vote. “It is like honey to my heart,” said Mohamed Mustafa Seif, 36, an accountant voting in downtown Cairo. “For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a role to play. My vote could possibly make a difference.”

Full Article: Egyptians Vote in Presidential Poll - NYTimes.com.

Egypt: Egyptians Vote for President in Their First Free Elections | NYTimes.com

Egyptians went to the polls Wednesday to choose their first freely elected president in a vote that could end 15 chaotic months of military rule and define the future of political Islam. It was a new climax in a cascade of scenes that would have been unthinkable just two years ago, when election days meant that state television would film former President Hosni Mubarak walking a red carpet to his special polling place in a predictably fraudulent plebiscite. But on Wednesday, millions of Egyptians waited patiently in long lines, often holding scraps of cardboard against the desert sun, and debated with their neighbors over which of the five leading contenders most deserved their vote. “It is like honey to my heart,” said Mohamed Mustafa Seif, 36, an accountant voting in downtown Cairo. “For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a role to play. My vote could possibly make a difference.”

Full Article: Egyptians Vote in Presidential Poll - NYTimes.com.

Egypt: Hosni Mubarak Relatives Divided as Egyptians Take Stands on Historic Presidential Election | The Daily Beast

Across Egypt, the first free presidential election getting underway today is forcing people to take a stand on some of their society’s most divisive issues—sometimes defying their own spouses or other family members. For Basheer Mubarak, it can feel like he’s standing against nearly his entire town. The 37-year-old technician lives in Kafr El-Maselha, the birth place of Hosni Mubarak, where cousins of the ousted dictator—Basheer included—fill several buildings along a city block. Many of them pine for Mubarak’s return and back the candidate whose résumé most resembles his. But not Basheer. “What did he do for this country? It’s one big dump,” he says in the garage of his three-story building on Sadat Street, named for the autocrat, Anwar Sadat, who preceded Mubarak.

Full Article: Hosni Mubarak Relatives Divided as Egyptians Take Stands on Historic Presidential Election - The Daily Beast.

Egypt: Hosni Mubarak Relatives Divided as Egyptians Take Stands on Historic Presidential Election | The Daily Beast

Across Egypt, the first free presidential election getting underway today is forcing people to take a stand on some of their society’s most divisive issues—sometimes defying their own spouses or other family members. For Basheer Mubarak, it can feel like he’s standing against nearly his entire town. The 37-year-old technician lives in Kafr El-Maselha, the birth place of Hosni Mubarak, where cousins of the ousted dictator—Basheer included—fill several buildings along a city block. Many of them pine for Mubarak’s return and back the candidate whose résumé most resembles his. But not Basheer. “What did he do for this country? It’s one big dump,” he says in the garage of his three-story building on Sadat Street, named for the autocrat, Anwar Sadat, who preceded Mubarak.

Full Article: Hosni Mubarak Relatives Divided as Egyptians Take Stands on Historic Presidential Election - The Daily Beast.

Egypt: Egyptians vote in first free presidential election | Acadiana's News Leader

More than 15 months after autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, Egyptians streamed to polling stations Wednesday to freely choose a president for the first time in generations. Waiting hours in line, some debated to the last minute over their vote in a historic election pitting old regime figures against ascending Islamists. A sense of amazement at having a choice pervaded the crowds in line, along with fervent expectation over what direction a new leader will take a country that has been in turmoil ever since mass protests toppled the man who ruled with an iron fist for nearly 30 years. Some backed veterans of Mubarak’s regime, believing they can bring stability after months of rising crime, a crumbling economy and bloody riots. Others were horrified by the thought, believing the “feloul” – or “remnants” of the regime – will keep Egypt locked under autocracy and thwart democracy. 

Full Article: Egyptians vote in first free presidential election - Acadiana's News Leader.