Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Egypt's Presidential Elections 2018 : The initial unsurprising list of presidential candidates

Al-Ahram Newspaper
State-owned Al-Ahram Daily's Front Page of 31 January 2018 issue 

via Instagram  

Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA” published its official initial list of Presidential candidates as an advertisement in State-owned al-Ahram Daily's Front page on Wednesday.

Unsurprisingly, the two only initial Presidential candidates for elections 2018 are current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the leader of Ghad Party Moussa Ahmed Moussa.

The NEA listed as well the number of endorsements each candidate received from MPs in the House of Representatives and citizens in at least 15 governorates across the country.

Current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi got endorsements from 549 MPs in the House of Representatives and 161,707 citizens across the country while his last-minute rival, the leader of Ghad Party Moussa Ahmed Moussa got endorsements from 20 MPs in the parliament.

Ironically, Moussa Moussa "just like Missa Missa of Death Note" claimed in his bizarre presser following his last-minute candidacy on Monday that he submitted 45,000 endorsements from citizens across the country in addition to the endorsement of 20 MPs in the parliament.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Egypt’s Presidential Elections 2018: The Search for a rival candidate is still on !!

Another episode of the wacky and interesting Egyptian presidential elections race 2018 which has proved that it is so interesting than the 2014 race after all !!

Previously as read on our blog, Egypt’s former top auditor Hisham Geneina is still in the Hospital. Sunday evening, the Prosecution decided to release him considering a victim. The prosecution also ordered the detention of the three men who attacked him 4 days pending investigations.

The statement in Arabic
The statement in Arabic 
Those three men are currently accused now of several charges by the prosecution including thuggery, robbery, theft and possession of unlicensed light arms.
Moving to a very interesting development took place in Egypt related to the elections also Sunday evening.

A group of prominent politicians and political activists issued a statement calling for the cancellation of the Presidential elections 2018 because it lost its minimum legitimacy.

The statement issued on Sunday condemned “all the security practices by the current regime” to stop any fair competition in the Presidential elections recounting what happened to the presidential hopefuls starting with Ahmed Shafik to what happened to Sami Anan and Hisham Geneina.

They also demanded the suspension of the National Elections Authority “NEA” and dissolution of its board because it covered up the security and administrative interfere in the elections process from the very beginning.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Egypt's Presidential Elections 2018 : It is a mad violent one-man show

First of all happy #Jan25 ya people of the world, especially our great people of Egypt. Tonight we are having a crazy episode of the Egyptian Presidential Elections 2018 race, a violent one
Second, since early Saturday and Egypt has one thing to speak about: How former top auditor Hisham Geneina was physically assaulted and spent hours in a New Cairo Police Station bleeding till he was transferred to a proper hospital.

Hisham Geneina after the attack
Hisham Geneina after the attack
"Ziyad El-Elaimy"
Early Saturday, the former head of Accountability of State Authority was heading from his house to the State Council, where he is appealing against the presidential decree that dismissed from his position as Egypt’s top auditor.
upscale New Cairo to Giza to attend his lawsuit in front the State

According to his wife and daughter who spoke to the media, he was stopped by another car full of thugs who attacked and assaulted him few blocks away from his house. Geneina called his wife as the thugs tried to get him from the car as far as I understood. Geneina's wife, his eldest daughter Shorouk and the guard as his building hurried to see him only to find the thugs attacking him madly.

So the people called the police as far as I understood and the police came and took the reformist judge to the First Settlement police station where he was left there without any medical care despite the pleas of his family.

Soon ,prominent political activists hurried to his support.
The photos taken at the police state and published by former MP and leftist political activist Ziyad El-Elaimy speak alone

Friday, January 26, 2018

Seen in Cairo : Empty food supplies boxes

Empty boxes
Empty boxes
Seen in Cairo: Empty boxes of food supplies given from the Egyptian armed forces to those in need in different areas and in different governorates.

via Instagram 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Egypt’s Presidential Elections 2018 : Khaled Ali Quits the race too

Thursday evening, renowned rights lawyer Khaled Ali declared in a press conference in Cairo that he would not continue in the Presidential Elections due to the lack of any possibility for competition.

Ali announced that he would not present his Presidential candidacy documents including the endorsements he and his campaign collected to the National Elections Authority “NEA” as planned on 25 January because of the absence of any possibility for true competition.
Khaled Ali
Khaled in the press conference "Samir Abdullah" 
Ali also attacked the NEA for ignoring the violations committed during the nomination phase including the theft of nomination endorsements in several governorates.
The NEA also rejected to share the number of endorsements he received officially as not his headquarters do not all receive the endorsements but they are sent electronically to the authority from notary offices as far as I understood.

Technically, most of the political figures and powers “which currently are described as opposition now” I know in Egypt called Khaled Ali and his presidential campaign to quit and withdraw from the race especially after what happened to the former military chief of staff and presidential hopeful Sami Anan on Tuesday.

Following the arrest of Anan, Ali’s campaign declared that it was holding a meeting to discuss the latest developments on Tuesday. I spoke with his campaign spokesperson that they would hold a press conference on Wednesday as they discussed all the scenarios in front of them.
Anan is officially arrested and is being interrogated at the Military Prosecution but his family told Mada Misr that they do not know his whereabouts !!
Thus, it is an officially-one-man presidential race after all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Egypt’s Presidential Elections 2018 : And Anan is out of the race “Updated”

The drama continues in Egypt’s Presidential Elections on Tuesday , Egypt’s former Chief of staff and Presidential elections Hopeful Sami Anan was arrested and is currently interrogated as the Egyptian army issued an official statement not only rejecting his presidential candidacy as well accusing of number of charges above them forgery and attempt to incite public against army.

Updated on Wednesday : Anan’s family says that it does not know his current whereabouts after his arrest in an exclusive statement to Mada Misr.

Sami Anan (Reuters)
Earlier Tuesday, the Egyptian armed forces released a video statement that did not slam and rejected Sami Anan’s presidential candidacy but it also accused the former Chief of staff of incitement against the army with the aim of “driving a wedge between the armed forces and the Egyptian people”.

The army accused the 1973 war veteran of announcing his presidential candidacy “without getting the approval of the SCAF” or taking the necessary steps to terminate his service in the army. Now interestingly this statement or communique was issued by the General Command of the Egyptian armed forces and not by Supreme Council of Armed Forces “SCAF”.
This remark was noticed by many. I do not know what it means in the real world though.

I remember Sami Anan said clearly that he would admit his papers to the National Elections Authority “NEA” clearly after getting the permission or approval of SCAF per military laws.
The statement said that Anan was not retired yet as he was still on the Egyptian army’s reserve list !!!! It accused him of forging official documents.

Egypt’s Military Prosecutor also issued a gag order on the news related to the investigations into Anan’s case.
The statement did not specify what Anan is being investigated for except that it is case No.1 for the year 2018 in the Military prosecution office.

The “NEA” also excluded Anan from the voters’ database because he breached the elections by having his name added to the electoral roll while serving as an officer on the Egyptian army’s reserve list.
I am quite surprised that the NEA discovered only now this alleged forgery.

In December 2012, Anan and other retired former SCAF leading figures above them Hussein Tantawy voted for the first in their lives as civilians in the 2012 Constitution referendum.
Why did nobody speak about that before?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Egypt’s Presidential Elections 2018 : Let the Hunger games start “Updated”

Officially the Egyptian Presidential Elections race has kicked off today and man what a season premiere it is !!
Egyptian President El-Sisi declaring his presidential candidacy
Egyptian President El-Sisi
declaring his presidential candidacy
Lots of things have been happening on many levels that I wanted to comment on my blog here but unfortunately, my health did not give me an opportunity.
I have been sick the past week fighting terrible influenza-like hell and up till now I have not fully recovered but here I am, how can I miss that crazy presidential elections race.

We were all wrong that we assume it is going to be a dull one-candidate show as us and the whole world thought and are still thinking but things changed rapidly in the past three days.
In the non-surprising 100%-expected news, Current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared Friday evening that he was running for the office after three-days-event/conference presenting his achievements to the Egyptian people in those four years.
I do not know how many people actually followed that event named “Nation’s tale” but there were strange and interesting claims and numbers that need to be checked for real.

Interestingly, he said on the last day of that event that “he won’t allow the corrupted ones to run for the office”, I do not know whom he meant but it is not up to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi or the Egyptian President in the first place to allow or not allow people to run for the Presidential candidates.
It is up to the National Elections assembly to allow or not allow presidential hopefuls to run according to the constitution and Presidential elections law’s candidacy requirements.

Needless to say, we do not know whom he meant exactly.
Did he mean former PM Ahmed Shafik or former chief of staff Sami Anan? I am sure that he did not mean Khaled Ali.

Anyhow hours later following El-Sisi’ announcement on Friday, at 1.05 AM Cairo Local time Saturday the Sami Anan Presidential Campaign released a video for the former 2011 SCAF leading figure declaring his candidacy in a very powerful speech that I could have ever thought that I would hear it for him.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Controversial Yet Necessary : A First hand experience about Refugees and exile in Sweden

Egyptian activist Nader Attar published a new book while called “Controversial Yet Necessary”. That book presents some of his poems he wrote about his experience in Sweden looking it through the eyes of refugee in exile.

He thankfully sent me a copy of his book and I promised him to write about it here in Egyptian
Controversial yet Necessary Cover
Controversial yet Necessary
Chronicles months ago. As a girl of her promises, I am writing tonight about it.
I do not know how to do a review because I am not an English literature poetry critic but there are a couple of poems that stopped me a lot.

“Alternative World” presenting this comparison between a party girl Swede and a woman illegal immigrant who lost everything in the Sea.
“The unbearable act of Starring” which I believe that Attar was inspired to write it from the Sad Aylan Kurdi if you still remember him.

“Me, Myself and My boat” is also
“Hej…Hej Jimmie Åkesson!” is an angry message to Swede Right-wing leader Jimmie Åkesson.
Attar’s work with the refugees especially Syrians gave him a first-hand experience with their tragedies and plea for safety in Europe.

Nader also perfectly criticized the right wing in Sweden if not all the right wing in the West right now in his book especially with that the rise of Nazism once.
His beautiful poem “Father” about the loss of his father, while he was Sweden, reminded of how many self-exiled Egyptian activists suffer emotionally for the loss of their parents when they cannot come back for security reasons.

I am so happy that Nader managed to publish his first poetry collection, hopefully, we will read soon his play he is working on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Egypt’s Presidential Elections 2018 : A-Single-Candidate race already !! “Updated”

On Monday, Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA" announced the timetable of the Egyptian Presidential elections 2018 which will be held in March.
According to NEA, the presidential bid race will start officially on 20 January when it opens its doors for the Presidential hopefuls to present their official requests for candidacy.
I forgot in my initial post to mention the requirements for the Egyptian presidential office post in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution articles No.141 and 142 as well the Presidential Elections law of the Year 2014 specifically its article No.1.
Here are the requirements the Presidential hopefuls must meet to become official Presidential candidates
  • A presidential candidate must be an Egyptian born to Egyptian parents, and neither he or his parents or his spouse may have held any other nationality.
  • He or she must enjoy civil and political rights, must have performed the military service or have been exempted according to the law.
  • He or she should not suffer from any physical or mental disease that can affect her or his ability to perform presidential duties.
  • He or she shall not be less than forty calendar years of age on the day of commencing candidacy registration.
  • He or she should not have been sentenced before by court for a felony or a crime involving immoral act and if she or he were convicted, then they should be acquitted in the appeal or the retrial
  • He or she must be a bachelor’s degree holder.
  • He or she must secure the endorsement of a minimum of 20 MPs or 25,000 citizens from across at least 15 governorates with 1000 endorsement from each governorate.
Now up till this moment, President Abdel Fattah El-Fatah El-Sisi has not mentioned that he intended directly or officially to run. In previous statements, speeches and interviews, he said that he would do whatever the people wanted him to do aka he would run if the people wanted him to do so.
Sisi's campaign in 2014
Sisi's presidential campaign in 2014 "Twitter"
Interestingly despite he has no declared his presidential bid officially, Popular campaigns to gather endorsements for his presidential candidacy from all over the country were formed and supported financially by businessmen from several months ago.

The organizers of those popular support campaigns claim that they managed millions of endorsements to secure his presidential candidacy despite he did not declare his intention all that time !!!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Egypt’s Presidential elections 2018 : The shortest uninteresting elections ever !!

Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA” declared in a press conference in Cairo on Monday that the upcoming presidential elections in 2018 will be in March. “Yes in March”.
Egypt is going to have presidential elections on 26,27 and 28 March with one month of the Presidential elections campaign only.

The NEA declared the timetable for the upcoming presidential elections as published in the official gazette :

  • From 20 to 29 January, the NEA will receive the request for nominations in its headquarter in Downtown Cairo according to the Constitution and Presidential elections law of 2017.
  • On 31 January , the NEA will publish a preliminary list of the candidates in Egypt’s State-owned Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers as well the number of endorsement they receive from their supporters whether through the notary offices or through the MPs in the parliament.
  • On 6 February, the NEA will declare the names of the disqualified candidates if any and the reasons behind their disqualification.
  • On 7 February, the NEA will receive the complaints and appeals against the disqualifications if any.
  • On 9th February, the NEA will rule on the complaints
  • On 23rd February, the NEA will declare the final list of official Presidential candidates.
  • From 24th February to 23rd March, the official Presidential candidates will have their presidential campaigns.
  • From 14th March to 15th March, there will be elections silence for Egyptians abroad.
  • From 16th March to 18th March, the presidential elections will be held for Egyptians abroad
  • From 24th March to 25th March, the elections silence will be held inside the country.
  • From 26th March to 28th March, the Presidential elections will be held inside the country.
  • On 2nd April, the winner will be announced if there are no runoffs. {Spoilers: We already know who he is }
  • From 19th April to 21st April, the second round of voting will be held for Egyptians abroad if there are runoffs
  • From 24th April to 26th April, the second round of voting will be held for Egyptians inside the country if there are runoffs
  • On 1st of May 2018, the NEA will declare the winner and the new President of Egypt {Spoilers: We already know who he is going to and the first letter in his name is Abdel Fattah El-Sisi }
Of course, the winner in the Presidential elections must have 50%+1 of the votes.
Are not these the shortest presidential elections ever ??
Egypt's NEA in Cairo
We are speaking about officially about one month for presidential campaigning !?

In what kind of universe, a true and serious rival to the president in the office will stand a chance to convince the majority of more than 50 million voters in a country like Egypt with the current Sisi’s administration control over media?
Al-Ahly Sports club had more interesting elections than these for real !!!
Those presidential elections are considered the first to be surprised and organized by the newly founded National elections authority in accordance with the Constitution.
Interestingly, the NAC law which was approved in summer will put an end to the full judicial supervision of the elections by 2024.
Thanks to human rights lawyer Ahmed El-Gadamy’s tweet about the Presidential elections regulations law of 2014, we know that according to article no.36 El-Sisi can be declared as the upcoming president on the conditions that there are no other presidential candidates “or they withdraw” and he got at least 5% of eligible votes.
If he does not get that percentage, there will be new presidential elections within 15 days.
I will quote journalist and TV host Tamer Abu Arab said sarcastically on Twitter after the announcement of the NEA because it is the best description of these elections.
“Oh Yes !! Let’s go back to the time of the beautiful referendums !! No need for elections !! We want to build our country !!”

I said it before, Al-Ahly Sports Club’s elections were much interesting, freer and transparent than the Egyptian Presidential elections.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Merry Christmas again from Egyptian Chronicles

I think Egypt is lucky to celebrate Christmas twice 😊
From Egyptian Chronicles to all Orthodox Christians celebrating Christmas tonight especially in Egypt.
An Egyptian Church
An Egyptian Church's dome in Cairo
Egyptian Orthodox Christians had one hell of a tough year, hopefully2018 will be better for all Egyptians and all the people everywhere.
Merry Christmas again and again from Egyptian Chronicles and happy holidays.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Kodaf Agfa Presents : Wolf Moon 2018

Wolf Moon 2018
Wolf Moon 2018 

NASA says that this moon is the biggest in 2018.
I had to wait three days to snap this not so-sharp photo thanks to the cold and the clouds in Giza, Egypt right now. It is freezing technically to stand long at the night to take a perfect shot. I admit but I think this is a good shot considering I am having a runny nose and cold hands !!!

By the way, the sky is so clear despite the unstable weather to the level you can spot the Orion belt and that small red spot on its left, I can not know if it were Mercury or Mars.
I wanted to snap another photo of the sky but I just could not thanks to the cold weathers !!!

By the way, stop taking selfies and start to look at the sky especially at night and see how many stars looking down at us. It is worth it.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Cover girl : The Rebel Palestinian teen with a curly blond hair

And the cover girl of January’s issue from Diwan Al-Ahram Magazine is none other than the rebel Palestinian teen with curly blond hair Ahad Tamimi.
Ahad Tamimi
Diwan Al-Ahram's cover featuring
Ahad Tamimi 
The quarterly annual heritage and history magazine published by Al-Ahram institution's issue came on the same day , an Israeli Military Court accused the 2001-born Palestinian teen who descends from a famous activist family in West Bank a list of 12 charges including assaulting an Israeli soldier and hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers “Yes, it seems that it is an official charge in Israeli Military law” .

In early December, Ahad Tamimi made headlines when Avigdor Lieberman said that “she will get what she deserves” for slapping an IDF soldier following her arrest from her home earlier in the Middle of the night.

The obnoxious ultra-right-wing minister forgot to say that four days earlier as Ahad and the rest of the Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh village were protesting Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, her 14-years-old cousin Mohamed Tamimi was shot point blank with a rubber bullet by an IDF soldier.
Ahad Tamimi
Ahad Tamimi smiling to the camera at the Military court "AFP

Monday, January 1, 2018

Despite all pains and attacks : Happy New year From Egyptian Chronicles

Happy New year From Egyptian Chronicles.

I know that 2017 was very hard in Egypt with all the terrorist attacks that took place across the country, most recently on Friday with that failed attack against a Coptic Orthodox Church in Helwan district in Cairo where ten people were killed “Yes, it is a failed attack thanks to God then to the Egyptian people” but we should not lose hope in better tomorrow or better Egypt that is inclusive of all people regardless of their race, gender, color, religion as well nationality.

Egypt's Nile

So Happy New year 2018

And I chose a photo for the Nile because this year will be critical for Egypt when it comes to its main source of water for the first time since thousands of years.
Ethiopia may finish its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Egyptians will find themselves in front a huge challenge , God only knows how we will pass it under this administration.