21 January 2018
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  • » 01/27/2014, 00.00

    EGYPT

    With al-Sisi seemingly ready to run, Egypt's presidential elections set for April



    Interim President Adly Mansour made the announcement yesterday. Presidential decree changes the election schedule decided by political parties after the fall of Mohammed Morsi, whereby parliamentary elections would come before the presidential poll. For critics, the move favours General al-Sisi and a government loyal to him.

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - Egypt will have a new president by April. Interim President Adly Mansour made the announcement last night after signing a decree that anticipates the presidential poll over parliamentary elections.

    For the first time, the people will first elect the president, and then their parliamentary representatives. Elections will be held by mid-April, within 90 days of the adoption of the new Constitution on 18 January.

    Last night, in a speech to the nation, President Mansour explained that the decree was discussed by the country's political forces who by a "large majority" accepted the change to boost security.

    However, many analysts and political leaders have criticised the president's decision, which further strengthens General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's hold on power.

    The current defence minister, who was promoted from colonel general to field marshal, is considered the country's real leader.

    In recent weeks, he mentioned that he might run for the presidency following this month's successful constitutional referendum. The new army-backed constitution won 98 per cent of the vote.

    "It was an expected move amid the growing signs that Gen al-Sisi is being groomed to become the next president," said Khaled Dawoud, a human rights activist.

    According to the timetable drawn up by the army after the fall of former President Mohammed Morsi, parliamentary elections were supposed to be held right after the referendum.

    Article 230 of the new Constitution (concerning elected offices) changes all this, favouring the establishment.

    Originally, parliamentary elections were set to go before presidential elections.

    However, the decision to change the electoral schedule is likely to increase tensions in Egypt, at a time when political violence is already rising.

    In fact, 49 people have been killed in recent demonstrations organised to mark the third anniversary of the Arab Spring.

    Fifteen more people were killed in attacks in central Cairo on Friday.

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    See also

    06/05/2014 EGYPT - ISLAM
    General al-Sisi promises to "finish" Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
    In his first television interview as a presidential candidate, the former army chief said he was not running for the military, pledges stability and security, as well as tolerance for the opposition. However, pro-democracy democratic groups criticise his policy of suppressing the dissent.

    13/11/2013 EGYPT
    Egypt: State of emergency revoked, curfew remains in some areas
    The special law came into force on 14 August, during clashes with the Muslim Brotherhood . On the orders of an Egyptian court, the new measure will come into effect this afternoon . The army says it will continue to apply the state of emergency and curfew in sensitive areas waiting for an official notification.

    15/01/2014 EGYPT - ISLAM
    Second day of voting for new Egyptian constitution. Yesterday, 9 dead
    State media applaud the high turnout, the Muslim Brotherhood claim instead a low turnout and continue their boycott. The referendum is a vote against the fundamentalism of the Brotherhood.

    26/05/2014 EGYPT
    Egyptians set to elect a new president with Al-Sisi the almost certain winner
    The results of the two-day election are expected at the end of May. Analysts and experts expect the former military chief of the Armed Forces to win. He vowed to "eradicate" Islamic terrorism from the country. Fears have been raised of a new drift towards authoritarianism.

    27/03/2014 EGYPT - ISLAM
    In last appearance in uniform, Gen. al-Sisi announces candidacy for president
    The decision is long overdue. His election almost certain with 90% support of the population. After Mohamed Morsi interlude, military once again great electors of Egypt’s presidents. "Hard work and sacrifices".



    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – LEBANON
    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


    CHINA
    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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