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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Interest rate cuts, Ride-Hailing Apps Act break the stream of elections coverage

Between the Ride-Hailing Apps Act and the CBE cutting interest rates, the talking heads had a lot to talk about last night as they looked to wean themselves off last week’s OD on election news.

The CBE’s move to cut interest rates on Thursday was necessary and is a clear sign the bank is moving past tight monetary policies it implemented over the past two years, CI Capital Holding economist Noaman Khalid said. The CBE will likely hold back on further rate cuts when the government moves to raise fuel prices 40-50% in July, which is expected to push inflation up to 15.5-16%, he told Hona Al Asema’s stand-in host Nancy Nour. Khalid quashed the idea that prices might ever decline and instead stressed that the antidote to rising prices are higher salaries (watch, runtime: 16:57).

MPs blanket the airwaves to defend Ride-Hailing Apps Act: The current draft of the bill that would regulate the operations of ride-hailing apps, such as Uber and Careem, is the product of several meetings with the companies to incorporate their perspective, House Transport Committee head Hisham Abdel Wahed said. He also stressed that the law would only require companies to provide customer data to the authorities following an official request (watch, runtime: 33: 09). MP Mohamed Badrawy also made the same point on the confidentiality of customer data and noted that Parliament is trying to power through the legislation as quickly as possible (watch, runtime: 5:08).

The electoral process received praise from many, including human rights lawyer Saeed Abdel Hafez, who said observers did not record any instances of corruption (watch, runtime: 15:53). Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr (watch, runtime: 13:51) and Kol Youm’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 3:37) were also pleased with the process. Adib still took the time to remind viewers that potential presidential candidates should begin preparing now for the 2022 elections, when President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will no longer be able to run (watch, runtime: 3:43).

The National Elections Authority (NEA) filed a complaint with the Supreme Media Council against Al Masry Al Youm for running a headline that suggested the state was urging citizens to vote, which Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary noted could be the first such complaint from the NEA since its establishment. Press Syndicate head Abdel Mohsen Salama downplayed the severity of the issue, telling El Hosary that the headline was likely misinterpreted (watch, runtime: 9:32). The newspaper’s editor-in-chief defended the headline and the newspaper’s overall coverage of the elections (watch, runtime: 6:37).

A Cabinet shuffle could happen after the results of the presidential elections are announced, just as it could happen at any other moment in time, Cabinet spokesperson Ashraf Sultan said in a phone-in to Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 8:25).

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