1月13日,2012年,

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) — Egypt’s ruling military council came under renewed pressure to speed up the transition to civilian rule, after opposition groups said it hadn’t relinquished enough authority in the wake of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.

The council swore in a new Cabinet this week and gave Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri presidential powers, although these exclude oversight of the military and judiciary, it said. The army has said it will remain the ultimate authority in Egypt until a president is elected next year.

“We reject the government of el-Ganzouri,” said Ahmed Maher, co-founder and coordinator of the April 6 Youth Movement, one of the groups behind the revolt against Mubarak that has staged a sit-in outside the Cabinet building. “This whole thing is an attempt to maneuver around our demands. We want a real national salvation government that represents the people and represents Tahrir Square,” he said, referring to the nearby plaza that has been the focus of protests in Cairo.

The Arab world’s most populous country is in the early stages of elections that are expected to give Islamist groups the largest share of seats in parliament in January. The Muslim Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice party secured the most ballots in the first round of voting last week, said yesterday it wouldn’t take part in a civilian consultative body being formed by the military council.

Draft Constitution

Party members “felt they would be uncomfortable with the authorities,” said Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman for the Brotherhood, without elaborating. His comments came after the Associated Press cited a member of the military council, Mukhtar el-Mullah, as saying that parliament won’t be representative enough to oversee the drafting of a constitution, and that the army would appoint a council to check the influence of religious extremists on the process.

“Who then represents the people? All political currents are represented in the parliament,” said Ghozlan. “Do they want a parliament with no powers?”

The Nour party, which represents Salafi Islamists, came second in the first round of voting, which covered Cairo and eight other provinces. The main secular alliance contesting the vote, the Egyptian Bloc, came third with about 13 percent of votes for party lists in the first round, official results show. The strong performance by Egypt’s religiously oriented groups follows victories by Islamist parties this year in Morocco and Tunisia, where the wave of uprisings began a year ago.

Electoral System

Due to the complexity of the electoral system, in which people cast votes for party lists as well as individual candidates, the makeup of parliament won’t become clear until final results are announced on Jan. 13. Nor will the balance of power between the assembly, the Cabinet and the ruling military council.

Egyptians abroad started voting yesterday for the second round of elections, which covers Giza, Suez, Ismailia and six other governorates, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported. In Egypt, voting in that round begins on Dec. 14. The third round begins on Jan. 3 and final results are due 10 days later. Presidential elections will be held by the end of June, the army has said.

Whatever government emerges in the coming months must tackle an economy that grew at the slowest pace in at least a decade as a result of the unrest that forced Mubarak out in February and deterred tourism and investment. Gross domestic product expanded 1.8 percent in the fiscal year through June, and Egypt has spent almost half its foreign currency reserves in the past 11 months.

The pound closed the week at a seven-year low of 6.0174 per dollar. Said Hirsh of Capital Economics and Turker Hamzaoglu at Bank of America Corp. are among economists to have warned that the government may be forced to devalue the currency.

(Updates with expat vote starting in ninth paragraph.)

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — Egypt’s ruling generals swore in a new Cabinet and gave the prime minister greater powers as Islamist groups headed for control of the first parliament since the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party secured the largest share, 37 percent, of ballots cast for party lists in the first round of voting, which covers Cairo and eight other provinces. It also gained 36 of the 56 seats contested by individual candidates in the first phase, official results show. Ballots cast for lists determine two-thirds of the 498 elected seats in the assembly, while the rest are determined by votes for individuals.

Due to the complexity of the electoral system, the makeup of parliament won’t become clear until final results are announced in January. Nor will the balance of power between the assembly, the Cabinet and the ruling military council.

While the army yesterday granted Prime Minister Kamal el- Ganzouri presidential powers, it said these exclude oversight of the military and judiciary. It has also said it will remain the ultimate authority in Egypt until a president is elected next year.

“This transfer of powers is 100 percent cosmetic,” said Ziad A. Moussa, a senior analyst at Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. “The military council is trying to say that it’s not interested in remaining in power but the actual content of that power transfer is not as powerful as it seems to be.”

New Cabinet

The military council swore in El-Ganzouri, who also served as premier under Mubarak, and other members of the new Cabinet yesterday. Momtaz el-Saeed was named finance minister, Mohamed Ibrahim Youssef interior minister and the foreign-affairs portfolio remains with Mohamed Amr, state television reported.

Demonstrators have been camped in Tahrir Square and other parts of Cairo for more than two weeks to demand the army cede power to a civilian government. The main secular alliance contesting the vote, the Egyptian Bloc, came third with about 13 percent of votes for party lists in the first round.

The Nour party, which represents Salafi Islamists, came second. The strong performance by Egypt’s religiously oriented groups follows victories by Islamist parties this year in Morocco and Tunisia, where the wave of Middle Eastern uprisings began a year ago.

Next Stages

Egyptians abroad started voting overnight for the second round of Egypt’s elections, which covers Giza, Suez, Ismailia and six other governorates, the state-run Middle East News Agency report. In Egypt, voting in that round begins on Dec. 14. The third round begins on Jan. 3 and final results are due 10 days later. Presidential elections will be held by the end of June, the army has said.

“The final results will dictate the Muslim Brotherhood’s choices of alliances and whether they will resort to the Salafis or see them as a liability and turn instead to the moderate, democratic forces,” said Nabil Abdel Fattah, director of the Al-Ahram Center for Social and Historic Studies.

Whatever government emerges in the coming months must tackle an economy that grew at the slowest pace in at least a decade as a result of the unrest that forced Mubarak out in February and deterred tourism and investment. Gross domestic product expanded 1.8 percent in the fiscal year through June, and Egypt has spent almost half its foreign currency reserves in the past 11 months.

The previous administration had agreed in principle to request a $3 billion International Monetary Fund loan that it rejected earlier this year after domestic borrowing costs soared. El-Saeed, who replaces Hazem El-Beblawi as finance minister, said on Dec. 3 that it’s “too early” to predict the fate of the loan.

埃及獨立日報(Al-Shorouk)今天(30日)報導,在前強人穆巴拉克(Hosni Mubarak)倒台之後的首次國會大選中,在埃及相當具有影響力的穆斯林兄弟會(Muslim Brotherhood)已經取得領先。

報導指出,根據初步的跡象顯示,穆斯林兄弟會成立的自由正義黨(Freedom and Justice Party)贏得47%的選票,埃及人集團(Egyptian bloc)獲得22%。

埃及國會下議院、也就是人民議會(People’s Assembly)的選舉分3階段進行,將產生498個議席。28日和29日舉行的是第一階段,參與選舉的有6個省,其中包括開羅和亞力山卓等大城。

  第二和第三階段將分別在12月以及明年1月舉行,正式投票結果預定明年1月13日出爐。

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For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
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