Saturday,16 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1300, (16 - 22 June 2016)
Saturday,16 December, 2017
Issue 1300, (16 - 22 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

New top auditor

HISHAM Badawi has been appointed chairman of the Central Auditing Agency, the country’s top corruption watchdog, after his predecessor was fired and charged with spreading “false news”.

Members of parliament approved President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s decision in March to appoint former prosecutor Badawi, who graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law in the 1970s. Badawi was then promoted several times until he became top prosecutor of the State Security Prosecution Court and then chairman of Cairo’s Appeals Court.

Badawi was also appointed chairman of the anti-corruption authority, then deputy chairman of the Central Auditing Agency.

Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal told MPs that in accordance with Article 216 of the constitution, the president of the republic can name the chairmen of the country’s watchdog institutions only upon the approval of the majority of parliamentary deputies.

“As you all know, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi issued Decree No 232 on 21 March, declaring that Hesham Geneina, chairman of the Central Auditing Agency, be fired from his position, and that in order for this decree to be effective it should have the approval of the majority of MPs,” Abdel-Aal said.

A total of 329 MPs voted in favour of appointing Badawi as the country’s new top auditor. Abdel-Aal said Badawi has a proven record of outstanding performance in prosecution and watchdog institutions.


New State Council head

COUNSELLOR Mohamed Abdel-Hamid Massoud has been appointed head of the State Council. On 13 June President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi issued a republican decree appointing Massoud, who has written several books on administrative law. The State Council’s General Assembly unanimously approved the nomination. Massoud was born in Beni Suef, south of Cairo, and graduated from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 1969.


Protesters acquitted

CAIRO Court of Misdemeanours acquitted 52 people on charges of illegally protesting in downtown Cairo on 25 April against the recent Egypt-Saudi deal that redrew maritime borders between the two countries. The Cairo-Riyadh deal, which placed the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi territory, sparked widespread anger and led to several protests.

The prosecutors had referred the defendants to court on charges of protesting without previous permission as per the country’s protest law.

Thousands demonstrated on 15 April against the decision in what were believed to be the biggest protests by non-Islamists against President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi since he came to office in 2014.

A second wave of demonstrations was held on 25 April. Dozens were arrested in both sets of protests.

On 11 June, seven activists were sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally protesting on 25 April against the agreement in Giza’s Kerdasa district, south of Cairo. That sentence can still be appealed.

In late May an appeals court overturned five-year jail sentences against 47 people who were also arrested during demonstrations against the islands accord. However, defendants had to pay a hefty LE100,000 fine.


Exam leak

THANAWEYA amma, or senior high school students, across the country sat for the physics exam on Sunday morning amid ongoing claims that the test had been leaked, as had reportedly others, through the infamous Facebook page Chao Ming.

Abdullah Taha, a secondary school student who took the physics exam, said on Sunday that the exam had been leaked on several social media outlets and that the Education Ministry replaced the exam with an alternative exam.

“The exam was leaked in the morning through several social media outlets, and I checked them,” Taha said. “The exam we received was different and was marked with a blue official signature from the ministry. This meant that the exam was an alternative.”

On Sunday the Chao Ming page also published purported answers to secondary school sociology exams.

The ministry warned students and their parents about the page and other similar pages, stating that the leaked questions were incorrect.

The spokespersons for the Ministry of Education and head of the Central Administration for Secondary Education were not available for comment.

On Saturday, Education Minister Al-Helali Al-Sherbini was questioned in parliament by a number of MPs over the leaks. Al-Sherbini said that on the same day of a meeting with parliament’s Education Committee, 26 online sites threatened to leak the secondary school exams before their start. He said the websites were previously monitored by the Ministry of Education.

The minister said investigations were carried out to prevent electronic exam leaks. He also said he requested that the government suspended Internet services for an hour before and after scheduled exams.

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