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March 9-15, 2014

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Egypt
Posted on March 17, 2014

Contents

Compiled by Vanessa Bassal, MIGS Desk Officer for Egypt

  1. Muslim Brotherhood may resurface in Egypt’s political arena
  2. Update on Human Rights abuses
  3. No harsh reaction produced by Hamas regarding ban on all activities from Egypt
  4. Revision of Egypt’s Electoral Law on March 12
  5. Egypt strengthens its ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE 
  6. Amr Moussa trying to find solutions to failing Egyptian economy

Resurfacing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian Politics still an Option
State Media

Al Ahram (11/03/2014)

  • The former foreign minister and ex-presidential candidate Amr Moussa has stated that if the Muslim Brotherhood were to accept the new Egyptian Constitution (2014), their presence in Egyptian politics is not over
  • Egyptian authorities however have declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group as a result of recurring attacks disturbing the peace of Egypt 
  • It is rumoured that General Sisi will accept the Brotherhood in the political arena as long as they abide by the rules laid out in the constitution
    • The Brotherhood may still establish a political party for the upcoming elections if they wish, as long as the constitution is respected. It is important to note that the constitution was approved by 90% of Egypt’s population, and therefore it cannot be ignored.
  • Moussa highlights the notion that Egypt will not fall into the hands of a dictatorship as it had in the past due to a set number of presidential reign laid out in the new constitution. 

Update: Egypt and Human Rights Abuses
Privately Owned

Media Daily News Egypt (11/03/2014)

  • Walid Mahmoud Abdel Nasser, Egyptian representative to the United Nation has stated that the country is ready to protect human rights as the new constitution calls on all citizens to be protected.
  • Egypt amongst other things has been accused of using lethal force on protestors
  • The UN is afraid of the escalating violence in Egypt and they have called on the country’s leadership to stop using violence towards the political opposition as well as releasing prisoners who have been victims of human right abuses such as freedom of speech and assembly, for instance as mentioned in the previous news report. 

Meeting Held by President Mansour to Renew and Review Egyptian Electoral Law
State owned media

Al Ahram (11/03/2014)

  • The meeting will take place on Wednesday March 12, 2014 at the Presidential Palace to discuss some of the criticism surrounding the standing electoral law in Egypt.
  • One of the main points of discussion will center on the appeals of the elections’ result (Article 7 in the new constitution) inciting political discontent amongst the current political opposition. Sabbahi mentions that this article defies the entire purpose of the newly passed constitution, failing to adhere to democratic principles.
  • The political opposition has gone as far as saying that the appeal for the election’s results favours General Sisi election as President, thus serving the purpose of the regime and not of the Egyptian people.
Privately Owned Media (same topic)

Egypt Independent (09/03/2014)

  • The Tamarod Movement has also requested the revision of Article 7 claiming that the article defies principles of justice. 

Update: End of Relations between Egypt and Hamas (Palestine)
State Owned Media

Al Ahram (11/03/2014)

  • No hostile actions will be undertaken by Hamas towards Egypt despite ban on Hamas activities in Egypt issued last week
  • Palestinians cannot survive without the help of Egypt, and therefore it is better to keep stable relations 
  • There have been protests by Hamas members because the Rafah border crossing is the only access from Gaza to the rest of the world.
  • Relations between Hamas and Egypt intensified following the ouster of Muhammad Morsi on claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is receiving help from Hamas to carry out attacks in Egypt. 

Strengthening Ties between Egypt and the UAE and Saudi Arabia
Privately Owned Media

Daily News Egypt (02/03/2014 and 11/03/2014)

  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support Egypt’s decision in designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. 
  • Following the deposition of Muhammad Morsi in July 2013, financial aid was provided to Egypt by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to help the country in their transitional period.
  • The United Arab Emirates have provided Egypt with a total of $29.6 billion USD since July. This monetary aid is an interest fee loan, and advantage for Egypt. 
  • General Sisi has partnered with the UAE to create a low income housing project with Arabtec (Construction company) as a way to further enlarge the job market in Egypt as well as providing low class families with affordable housing.
  • To further illustrate the strengthening relationship between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, since March 2, 2014, air, naval and special forces on both sides have come together to undergo a special training camp “Zayed” in order to deepen their capabilities about “shooting at hostile targets.” 
  • What does this mean? Only time will tell but given upcoming elections in Egypt and the recent human right abuses the country has been a victim of, re-establishing security and stability in the country should be the priority, thus justifying the needed training. 

Amr Moussa Tries to Restore Egypt’s Failing Economy
Privately Owned Media

Al- Yawm al-Sabi (Arabic) (11/03/2014)

  • Amr Moussa is trying to find solutions to the ailing Egyptian economy. The removal of Muhammad Morsi from power in July has resulted in Egypt receiving billions of dollars in aid from fellow Arab nations.
  • Amr Moussa mentions that although he is grateful for the donations, none of these will help Egypt’s economic comeback as the country needs to rely on itself to restore the economy.
  • Moussa proposes to redistribute resources and special crops/ items as one of the solution to ending economic turmoil, amongst other things. 
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