` Egyptians Head for the Polls on First Day of Presidential Elections with Emotion Running High ‘

#AceNewsServices – CAIRO – May 26 – 9:35 Doors were around half an hour late to open at the Gomhoreya School polling station in Cairo’s up-scale Maadi district, reports Ahram Online’s Dina Samak — bad news for the long queues of voters waiting outside.

“We can wait. It’s only one day,” a middle aged woman tells other waiting voters. Several women ululate in celebration.

ANTICIPATION:

Meanwhile, in Agouza’s Qawmiyya polling station, Ibtesam, the widow of a police officer, tells Ahram Online she is voting because “it is important to build the nation’s future.” She says she will vote for El-Sisi because “he cares for the country and saved it from chaos.”

9:30 Candidate Hamdeen Sabahi has also cast his vote, in Mohandiseen in Giza. TV footage shows him pressed on all sides by crowds.

EXPECTATION:

“We hope for a large turnout…to reach 30 million,” Sabahi told waiting reporters. The leftist contender pledged to “make serious decisions (that would) fulfilling the legitimate dreams of Egyptians, namely social justice, rectifying the situations of those in prisons for [expressing] their opinions…as well as [launching] a war on corruption,” he added.

9:25 Abdel-Aziz Soliman, general secretary of the Presidential Elections Commission — the judicial body responsible for organising the election — has stated that all polling stations have opened on time and there have been no complaints reported so far.

He also said that turnout seems high, Al-Ahram Arabic reported.

HAPPINESS:

9:20 Outgoing president Adly Mansour, has reached his polling station in Cairo’s Heliopolis district, reported Al-Ahram Arabic website.

UNCERTAINTY:

Presidential hopeful El-Sisi has also arrived at a different polling station in the same district to cast his ballot. Television footage shows him, surrounded by numerous bodyguards, struggling to move through excited crowds.

Live Coverage Courtesy of Al-Haram – 26/05/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/m5p8bde

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` Egyptian Court Sentences 155 Muslim Brotherhood Supporters to Jail Giving 54 Life Sentences ‘

#AceWorldNews – CAIRO – May 21 – An Egyptian court sentenced 155 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to jail terms on Wednesday and gave 54 of them life sentences, Reuters reported, citing judicial sources.

The case is related to violence in the Nile Delta province of Mansour last August after the army’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

Other defendants were sentenced to between three to 10 years in jail as the charges include instigating violence and chaos and membership in a banned group.

Police dispersed demonstrators outside the courthouse who were protesting the verdict.

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` Egyptian Activists March Scheduled on April 26 to Repeal Controversial Protest Law '

#AceNewsServices – CAIRO – April 25 – Egyptian activists held a press conference on Thursday in
front of the presidential palace in Cairo to announce an escalation in their demands for the country’s controversial protest law to be repealed, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.

Those participating in the conference included the April 6 movement, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Egyptian Popular Current, in addition to Nourhan Hefzy, wife of prominent activist Ahmed Douma, who was recently sentenced to three years in jail for breaking the protest law.

The groups announced a march on Saturday, 26 April, beginning at 5pm in front of Saraya Al-Kubba and continuing until the Ittihadiya presidential palace.

Mohamed Youssef, a member of April 6’s Democratic Front, called on interim President Adly Mansour to use his legislative powers to repeal the protest law.

Youssef also said that revolutionary movements will mobilise in many other governorates on Saturday.

On Tuesday, a group of female activists began a sit-in outside the presidential place as part of a series of events calling for the law’s cancellation. Those at the conference on Thursday said that the sit-in would be halted until 26 April, the date of the march.

The text accompanying the link to sign the petition says: “The freedom to demonstrate is one of the gains of the 25 January Revolution”, describing it as “one of the cornerstones of democracy”.

The group outlines six reasons for its objection to the current law, which include their belief that the law contradicts international human rights conventions that Egypt is party to. They point out that similar laws around the world “do not seek to eliminate protests or limit it as a fundamental right”.

The movement also stresses that “the Egyptian security forces are not qualified to handle democratic protests” and has called for the restructuring of the Egyptian police force.

Co-founder and former general coordinator of the 6 April Youth Movement, Ahmed Maher, along with fellow co-founder and political bureau member, Mohamed Adel, were both sentenced to three years in prison in December, alongside prominent activist Ahmed Douma.

The trio were found guilty of protesting without the Ministry of Interior’s approval, amongst other charges. Activist and blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah received a one-year sentence with hard labour in January for endorsing a protest opposing military trials for civilians.

Three prominent activists of the January 2011 revolution – Ahmed Douma, Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel – all received three-year sentences and LE50,000 fines for breaking the protest law in December 2013.

Another prominent activist, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, is being tried on the same charges.

Thousands of others, mainly supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, have been arrested during demonstrations thanks to the law, which bans all protests not pre-approved by authorities.

Ace Related News:
1. April 23 – http://tinyurl.com/lr4dvek
2. April 23 – http://tinyurl.com/m9vpdm8
3. April 13 – http://tinyurl.com/la6tudl

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` Egyptian Government has Approved Broadening of Terrorism Laws following Increase of Violent Outbreaks’

#AceWorldNews – CAIRO – April 04 – (RT) – The Egyptian government has approved the broadening of terrorism laws, following increased violence in the country.

For the new laws to come into force, they still need to be signed by interim President Adly Mansour.

The exact changes made to the laws have not been released so far. Egypt’s security forces have been the target of frequent attacks since a military-backed coup toppled former President Mohamed Morsi last July.

On Wednesday, a series of explosions killed three people outside Cairo University, including a police brigadier-general.

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` Interim Egyptian President ` Adly Mansour ‘ announces a `Presidential Election Law ‘

#AceWorldNews reports that interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour announced a presidential election law on Saturday, setting the stage for polls to take place later this year to elect a new president to replace ousted leader Mohamed Morsi.

The election is seen as a major step to restore order and stability in Egypt after the military deposed of Mosrsi in July.

Army chief Abdel Fattah Sisi has emerged as Egypt’s most popular political figure but has not yet announced his candidacy, though his aides have confirmed that he intends to run.

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