April 8, 2014 |
CAIRO - It's not as if Egypt's presidential race is a crowded one. But firebrand pro-army lawyer Mortada Mansour, who declared his candidacy over the weekend, is denying - vehemently - that he is only running in order to stage proxy attacks on former Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Sisi's main opponent. Until Mansour jumped into the race, Sisi, who is heavily favored to win, had only one declared challenger, liberal politician Hamdeen Sabahi. That has led many to suggest that Mansour's main function as a candidate will be to smear Sabahi, allowing the former army chief to remain above the fray.
April 6, 2014 |
Nine months after Egypt's armed forces overthrew the country's democratically elected president, the leader of that coup has announced that he will seek the presidency in elections next month. But even if army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi receives an overwhelming mandate from voters, he won't be able to restore prosperity and stability to the country if the government continues to repress and imprison political opponents. The United States should use its limited but real influence with Egypt to press Sisi to abandon his siege mentality and open a dialogue with opposition groups.
April 1, 2014 |
CAIRO - An Egyptian court has sentenced a farmer to six months in jail for dressing up his donkey last year to depict then-army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi, who left his military post last week to run for the presidency. Omar Aboul Magd, 31, was arrested in September after riding his donkey during an anti-military march that was called for by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. During the protest in the governorate of Qena, Aboul Magd painted Sisi's full name on the donkey's body and dressed it in a military cap. The word "Sisi" stands for "Pony" in Egyptian slang.
March 30, 2014 |
CAIRO - Egypt's election commission said Sunday that the first round of voting for a new president would be held May 26 and 27 and that any runoff would conclude within a month of that. Originally, the polling was to have taken place by mid-April. But the odds-on favorite, Abdel Fattah Sisi, took his time declaring his candidacy. He finally did so last week. Sisi, who stepped down as defense minister in order to run, led a coup against elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July.
March 28, 2014 |
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- President Obama jetted across the Mediterranean Sea on Friday on a diplomatic mission to try to bridge the gaps between the U.S. and its longtime ally, Saudi Arabia. Obama landed in the capital, arriving from Rome where he capped off the European stretch of his week-long trip overseas. The president was greeted by Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the governor of Riyadh, and a line of Saudi soldiers before boarding a helicopter bound for a desert camp, the setting for a meeting with the ailing King Abdullah and dinner with the royal family.
March 26, 2014 |
CAIRO - Like an Arabian fable, it was the candidacy of a thousand and one hints. After months of carefully choreographed suggestions that he would seek the presidency, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi, the man who toppled Egypt's first democratically elected president, told the nation Wednesday that he was leaving his military post and embarking on his long-expected campaign. More than three years after the dizzying uprising against dictator Hosni Mubarak, a former air force commander, Sisi's announcement sets the country back on the path to which it hewed for decades: strongman leaders drawn from the ranks of the military.
March 26, 2014 |
CAIRO -- Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi stepped down Wednesday as Egypt's defense minister and declared his candidacy for president. Appearing on nationwide television for what he said would be the last time in military uniform, Sisi called for national unity and emphasized that tough economic times lie ahead. “I, with all humility, come forward announcing my intention to run for the presidency,” he said. “Your support will be giving me this great honor.” He must run as a civilian, but Egypt has a long-standing tradition of leaders drawn from the ranks of the military.
March 25, 2014 |
CAIRO - An Egyptian court convened another mass trial Tuesday with more than 680 defendants, a day after being vehemently denounced by human rights groups and legal organizations for simultaneously condemning 529 others to death. The proceedings again took place in Minya, in the Nile River Valley about 150 miles south of Cairo. Defense attorneys boycotted Tuesday's session, citing what they called massive violations of due procedure in the mass capital punishment verdict rendered by the same criminal court a day earlier.
March 24, 2014 |
CAIRO - Even by the baroque standard being set by the Egyptian judiciary under the nearly 9-month-old military-backed government, the scene that unfolded Monday in a courthouse south of the capital was extraordinary: 529 defendants simultaneously sentenced to death. The verdict, which drew widespread condemnation and expressions of incredulity from human rights groups and legal organizations, was handed down at just the second session of a mass trial of nearly 550 men. The defendants, described as supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, were accused of acts of violence including attacking a police station and killing a police officer.
March 23, 2014 |
CAIRO -- In a case closely watched by human rights advocates, a leading figure in Egypt's 2011 revolution was freed on bail Sunday after spending nearly four months in jail. Alaa Abdel Fattah was arrested in late November, soon after a tough new anti-protest law took effect. He faces charges of organizing an illegal demonstration and assaulting police, both of which he denies. Abdel Fattah's arrest, together with that of several other prominent secular activists around the same time, marked the start of an expanded crackdown by the military-led interim government against its critics.