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News from Democracy Egypt - 4 September 2005 A Cairo court has ruled that Egyptian citizens have the right to be present as observers in polling stations and to monitor presidential elecitons on September 7th. The government and the Mubarak-appointed Presidential Election Commission had been adament against allowing any domestic monitoring. They also have banned all foreign observers. Human Rights Chief in Egypt Accused of Mubarak Bias / Ruptures in the Coptic community CAIRO — The Cairo Centre for Human Rights Studies (CCHRS) has issued a statement condemning Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali, Chairman of the National Human Rights Council (NHRC), and Dr Ahmed Kamal Abul Magd, NHRC Vice-Chairman. They also criticized the Movement for Change, popularly known locally as the `Kefaya' group. "The CCHRS expresses surprise at statements by Dr Ghali and Abul Magd in the August 19, 22 and 27 issues of the Al Ahram daily, which clearly showed the NHRC's total bias towards the presidential candidate of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and his election programme, while the NHRC criticised the programmes of the other candidates," the statement said. The CCHRS said it believed that dragging the NHRC into campaigning for the candidate of the ruling party not only violates the principle of giving equal opportunity to all the presidential candidates, but also violates and contradicts the role the NHRC was set up to play as a neutral body that enjoys total independence from the executive arm of the government and the ruling party. "It also casts great doubts on the credibility of the National Council for Human Rights in exercising objective follow-up of the presidential and parliamentary elections," the statement added. The CCHRS also expressed surprise over a statement by the spokesman of the `Kefaya' opposition group in which he accused the parties participating in the presidential elections of `treason'. (Kefaya leaders are calling for a boycott of the election.) The `Kefaya' group has not come out to reject or correct the statement, which was carried by the Arabic daily Al Masr el Yawm on August 26. Meanwhile, a deep division is cropping up in the Egyptian Christian community as Copts in the Diaspora intensify efforts to rally support for Christians in all Egyptian towns and villages to go against the recommendation of Pope Shenouda III, the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria. The Pope urged followers to pledge allegiance to the incumbent president Hosni Mubarak in the forth-coming election, a stance which had stirred great controversy among the Egyptian Christian hierarchy. Other leading Coptic figures are strongly opposing Mubarak's bid for a fifth term in office on the basis that the longtime problems of the Copts still remained unsolved. Copts living in the Diaspora have surprised many by announcing their full support to the presidential candidate of the Al Ghad (Tomorrow) Party, Ayman Nour. This move is seen by the Coptic street as disobedience and a major embarrassment to Pope Shenouda III. The move has caused a tense fissure in the usually-united Christian front. Some see the development as representing a decline in the Pope's popularity, particularly among Copts abroad. The Pope countered the move by urging his reverends in Canada to announce their support for Mubarak. Christian religious leaders of the Orient churches in Canada announced their support for Mubarak just a few hours after the Copts in the Diaspora announced their support for Nour.

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[ Egitto ] [ Islam e democrazia ] [ Saad Ibrahim ] [ Ayman Nur ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ ]

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[ Egitto ] [ Islam e democrazia ] [ Saad Ibrahim ] [ Ayman Nur ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ ]

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[ Egitto ] [ Islam e democrazia ] [ Saad Ibrahim ] [ Ayman Nur ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ ]

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