Former diplomat’s arrest, militants clash with security in the Sinai, government tallying up tuk-tuks
The airwaves offered up a mixed bag of nuts on the final night of the long Eid break, with topics ranging from the arrest of a former diplomat, clashes with militants in the Sinai, and tuk-tuk regulation.
Prosecutors on Friday ordered the 15-day detention of ex-diplomat Masoum Marzouk and six others on terror charges relating to their call for a referendum on (and the potential ouster of) President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. MP Tamer El Shahawy told Al Hayah fi Misr that security forces received a tip confirming that Marzouk and others — including academics Yahya Kazaz and Raed Salama — were being funded by a terrorist organization whose main aim was to wreak havoc in Egypt. Reuters suggested, however, that the arrests were made after Marzouk ”called for a referendum on [President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s] rule, in rare public criticism of the former general.” El Shahawy dismissed the claims, adding that Ikhwan-backed media has been trying to sell that narrative (watch, runtime: 9:16). The Financial Times also has the story.
Others agreed with the chaos theory. Sout Al Omma’s Editor-in-chief Youssef Ayoub said Marzouk’s attempt was part of a wider scheme to upset order in the region, claiming as well that the former diplomat is an Ikhwan operative (watch, runtime: 2:47). Journalist Ali Al Sayed said Marzouk’s proposal was, in any case, unconstitutional (watch, runtime: 9:39).
An unsuccessful attack on a police checkpoint in North Sinai’s Al Arish yesterday is an indication of terrorist group’s weakness in light of the military’s anti-terror campaign in the area, Supreme Counterterrorism Council member Khaled Okasha told Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 5:18). The attack, which left at least four people dead, also received air time on Al Hayah fi Misr (watch, runtime: 1:17) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 0:41). We have more in Egypt in the News, below.
The Local Development Ministry is looking to get a tally of tuk-tuks as a first step to rounding them up for licensing, according to Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim. The ministry has asked governors to come up with an accurate count. Gharbiya governor Ahmed Sakr said that his governorate has licensed 22,000 tuk-tuks in the past two years (watch, runtime: 4:08), a move made possible by amendments to traffic laws issued in 2008 (watch, runtime: 5:17). Beheira Governor Nadia Abdou said, however, that tuk-tuk drivers avoid getting permits to avoid paying fees and insurance (watch, runtime: 50:01).
Some 12-15 governors are expected to be replaced in an upcoming reshuffle set to happen next week, according to Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hossary, who discussed the issue with MP Mohamed Attia El Fayoumi, Al Shorouk Editor Emad El Din Hussein, and municipalities’ expert Shady Abdel Latif (watch, runtime: 3:51).
El Hosary was also occupied with covering news of the death of two children in Dakahlia who had been missing (watch, runtime: 4:43).