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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

House Speaker riding emergency law procedures on a power trip; considers suing “countries that sponsor terrorism”; talking heads worried about new Media Act.

The enacting of the Emergency Act and the new Media Act had the talking heads sweating last night. (We have more on both measures in today’s Speed Round, below.)

On Hona Al Asema, Lamees El Hadidi was unsettled by what she saw as House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal “celebrating” the state of emergency and remarks that she read as veiled threats to take “exceptional procedures” against the press and media (watch, runtime: 11:13).

Arrests and a crackdown on the media under the two measures will only reaffirm the image of an authoritarian Egypt, National Human Rights Council member Hafez Abu Saeda warned, telling Lamees that authorities should be measured in their use of the Emergency Act (watch, runtime 5:38).

Lamees also covered the establishment of three new regulatory bodies to govern independent and state-owned media. The host spoke to Supreme Media Council chief and one-time journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed, who told her that entities are meant to ensure that standards of professionalism, objectivity, and accuracy are upheld (watch, runtime 9:49).

The new regulators will also impose policies and outline the work of media institutions “without interfering in content,” Supreme Media Council member Suzan El Kelany told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer. National Journalism Authority member Diaa Rashwan (a terrorism analyst who styles himself a journalist) also said that the Media Act gives the regulators authority to replace editors and board members at state-owned newspapers.
Over on Kol Youm, MP Mostafa El Gendy told Amr Adib that House Speaker Abdel Aal said a group of international lawyers intends to sue countries “that foster terrorism” but refused to name said countries (watch, runtime 4:39). (Yo, Al Thani — we think he’s talking about you and your homeboy Erdogan, last seen playing dress-up with his toy soldiers.)

Meanwhile on Masaa DMC, Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El Etreby had a chat with Osama Kamal about the effects of the EGP float, telling him that FX inflows into the Central Bank since November EGP float have now reached USD 18.7 bn. El Etreby added that the banking sector has also opened USD 26 bn worth of LCs since November (watch, runtime 3:31).

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