Scrolling news:

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Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Egypt passes law allowing religious slogans in election campaigns

4th Apr 2013

CAIRO, (Xinhua): Egypt’s Shura Council (upper house of parliament) on Wednesday passed a political rights law after deleting a controversial clause that bans religious slogans in election campaigns, official news agency MENA reported.

The cancellation of the clause triggered a walkout by liberal and Coptic lawmakers, who feared the new law will put them at disadvantage in future elections.

Some opposition parties said in a statement that the discussion at the parliament “violated the constitution and contradicted the principles of a civil state.”

They also rejected as unconstitutional an article that endows the president with absolute power to set election dates without approval of the cabinet.

The main opposition bloc, National Salvation Front, warned in a statement on Wednesday that the government is using the Shura Council to issue laws that serve the interests of only one group, the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is affiliated.

Amr Moussa, former Arab League chief and key figure in the Front, said the law has “dangerous influence,” demanding it be revoked.

Some prominent Islamists also objected the use of religious slogans in election campaigns.

Abdel Moniem Abou el-Foutouh, an Islamist ex-presidential candidate, said on his twitter page that using religion in elections is unacceptable, as it turns religion into a tool to harvest votes.

After the Shura Council session, High Elections Commissions said on Wednesday evening that despite the new regulation, it is still able to ban religious slogans in elections.

The Shura Council also approved an amendment to the law, which stipulates that people exempted from military service can run in legislative elections, unless he has been involved in crimes harming national security or other state interests.

This lowering of the bar raised concerns among liberal parties and opposition, who fear the political detainees during former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule, many of them members of the Muslim Brotherhood, could run for parliamentary seats and thus expand the Islamic group’s power in the legislature.

Editor: yan


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