Coptic legislator Ihāb ‘Ādil Ramzī of al-Hurrīyah Party in al-Minya severely criticized the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent announcement to field Khayrat al-Shātir as its candidate for the forthcoming presidential election, adding the group is only bringing back to life the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) that used to monopolize all powers. [Māhir ‘Abd al-Sabūr, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, April 4, p. 4] Read text in Arabic
“The Brotherhood’s attempt to dominate government, parliament, constitution and presidency in the same time is a lethal political sin, the same one made by the NDP and caused the January 25 revolution,” said Ramzī.
He added that the decision to field a presidential candidate could spark the Egyptians’ wrath again and bring about another revolution, accusing the Brotherhood of placing its interests above the nation’s. [Māhir ‘Abd al-Sabūr, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, April 4, p. 4] Read text in Arabic
The Coptic Evangelical Church said it will not participate in the constitution-drafting panel unless its calls for rectification it had made are positively observed.
The decision was taken following a meeting of the Evangelical Church’s executive committee on Monday (April 2) under deputy head of the community Dr. Andrea Zakī.
“The community expresses grave concerns over the way the constituent assembly drafting a new constitution for Egypt was formed after all opposing powers have been excluded,” said Zakī, appealing to officials running the country and all national political powers to adopt corrective measures so that the assembly would genuinely represent all segments of the society. [Amīrah ‘Abd al-Sabūr, al-Misryūn, April 4, p. 3] Read text in Arabic
The Coptic Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod on Tuesday (April 3) announced that it will cancel any celebrations of the Coptic Easter out of respect for the soul of Pope Shenouda III, who passed away three weeks ago.
“The celebrations will be merely spiritual by holding a Mass and sending invitations for officials to attend and receive them on the following morning,” Bishop Bula of Tantā said in a press conference after the Synod’s meeting. [Ahmad al-Sa’dāwī, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, April 4, p. 3] Read text in Arabic
The Synod, after a six-hour meeting, said it will announce the beginning of registering voters’ names for the election of a new pope on April 17 right after the Coptic Easter.
Bishop Bula, who is also the secretary of the Millī (Community) Council, authorized to deliver the Synod’s statement, asserted full commitment to the 1957 statute on the election of a new pope for the Coptic Orthodox Church. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, April 4, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic
Meanwhile, all sides in Luxor ended sectarian problems that almost set the Upper Egyptian archeological city on fire as security agencies brought to an end a raging clash between Muslim and Christian young men in the Sharq al-Sikkah al-Hadīd area.
Maj. General Ahmad Dayf, Assistant Minister of Interior for Luxor Security, said local residents helped defuse the crisis smoothly. [Usāmah Shams al-Dīn, al-Ahālī, April 4, p. 3] read text in Arabic