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Friday, November 22, 2013

General Sisi Stokes Presidential Run Rumors

In an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper yesterday, Egypt’s defense minister General Abd el Fattah el Sisi refused to confirm or deny plans to run for president in the coming election cycle in Egypt, saying “let’s see what the days bring.” General Sisi enjoys widespread popularity in Egypt; he is largely seen as the face of the armed forces, which deposed former President Mohamed Morsi in early July. Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Muslim Brotherhood (Morsi’s party) had “stolen” the Egyptian revolution in 2011, which falls in line with the military-backed government’s political narrative.

Policeman Killed Trying to Arrest Militants

A police captain who was trying to arrest a suspect wanted for the assassination of a government official was shot and killed yesterday in Qaloubiya province, north of Cairo. Egypt has witnessed an increase in violence over the past week: Interior ministry official Mohamed Mabrouk was assassinated by armed gunmen outside of his home in Nasr City, and a suicide car bomb attack killed 11 soldiers and injured 37 in North Sinai.  Adli Mansour, the interim President of Egypt, has announced a three-day mourning period for the nation.

Cabinet Agrees on Anti-Terrorism Pact

Egypt’s cabinet responded to the latest violent incidents this week with a new round of initiatives aimed at fighting terrorism. Among the new resolutions: the cabinet would review prisoners who were pardoned by former President Mohamed Morsi and review the deposed president’s decision to give citizenship to various individuals. The cabinet also decided to give state security forces to power to enter university campuses in case of a “security threat.”

Constitutional Committee Adds Article Allowing Civilians to be Tried in Military Courts

Egypt’s 50-member constitutional committee has approved an article in the draft constitution that would allow civilians to be tried by military courts. According to the text, civilians involved in attacks on military facilities, personnel, or vehicles, as well as crimes related to military secrets or funds, could be tried in military courts. Tamarod backed the legislation, but the April 6th Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher wrote in a statement that he opposed the change, saying: “No to a constitution that allows military trials of civilians. Have we forgotten the 12,000 civilians that had military trials [during military rule after the January 2011 uprising], including children who are still in jail?”

Weekend Read

Mohamed Salama Adam’s piece for Mada Masr (republished in Jadaliyya) about the two-year anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud street clashes outside of Tahrir Square is an inciteful look at the romantic idealization of revolutionary events and the rewriting of historical narratives.

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