Egyptians vote in landmark presidential election (BBC)
@2 years ago
“Egyptians are voting in their first free presidential election, 15 months after ousting Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring uprising.
Fifty million people are eligible to vote, and large queues have formed at some polling stations.
The military council which assumed presidential power in February 2011 has promised a fair vote and civilian rule.
The election pits Islamists against secularists, and revolutionaries against Mubarak-era ministers.
The frontrunners are:
- Ahmed Shafiq, a former commander of the air force and briefly prime minister during February 2011 protests
- Amr Moussa, who has served as foreign minister and head of the Arab League
- Mohammed Mursi, who heads Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party
- Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, an independent Islamist candidate
Until a new constitution is approved it is unclear what powers the president will have, prompting fears of friction with a military which seems determined to retain its powerful position.”
#egypt #democracy #elections #north africa #middle east #news #voting
Israeli parliament meets over protests (AJE)
@3 years ago with 21 notes
“Israeli politicians have interrupted their summer recess to participate in a special debate on protests over the cost of living that have shaken the country.
Tuesday’s session of the Knesset, Israeli parliament, comes after a month of mass protests against the high prices of food, housing, education and healthcare.
Their protest quickly snowballed into a much larger movement, tapping into deep frustration across Israel over the cost of living and income disparity.”
#Israel #middle east #netanyahu #protests
Iran presses Syria over missing journalist
@3 years ago with 2 notes
Iran’s foreign minister wants the Syrian government to look into the case of an Al Jazeera journalist who has been missing in Syria since Friday afternoon.
Dorothy Parvaz left the Qatari capital, Doha, for Syria to cover events in the country, but there has been no contact with the 39-year-old since she disembarked from a Qatar Airways flight in Damascus.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, said at a news conference in Doha on Monday that Iran wanted the Syrians to look into the matter.”
#Iran #Syria #Middle East #missing journalist #AJE
Syrian legislators quit over crackdown (AJE)
@3 years ago
“Two Syrian legislators have resigned their posts in parliament as outrage grows over the security force’s ongoing crackdown on anti-government protests.
Nasser al-Hariri and Khalil al-Rifaei, independent MPs who represent the city of Daraa, where scores of protesters have been killed, both separately told Al Jazeera on Saturday that they were resigning over the killings of demonstrators.
Rezq Abdulrahman Abazeid, the government-appointed mufti for Daraa, which has been a focal point for pro-democracy protests, also resigned on Saturday in protest at the killing of demonstrators by security forces.
More than 220 protesters have been killed since protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, erupted on March 18 in Daraa, rights campaigners say.”
#Syria #protests #middle east #democracy
U.S. was told of Yemen leader’s vulnerability (WashPo/WikiLeaks)
@3 years ago with 1 note
“A billionaire Yemeni sheik met with a high-ranking officer from the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa less than two years ago and revealed a secret plan to overthrow President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s longtime autocratic ruler.
Hamid al-Ahmar, an opposition party leader and a prominent businessman, vowed to trigger the revolt if Saleh did not guarantee the fairness of parliamentary elections scheduled for 2011, according to a classified U.S. diplomatic cable summarizing the meeting. The sheik said he would organize massive demonstrations modeled on protests that toppled Indonesia’s President Suharto a decade earlier.
Those same cables reveal that U.S. officials were keenly aware of Yemen’s fragile political and economic straits but largely discounted the prospect that Saleh could be forced out, despite dire assessments of his standing from Arab and European counterparts, from members of Yemen’s political opposition, and even from Saleh’s inner circle”
#Yemen #Wikileaks #United States #Middle East #protests