CAIRO IN CRISIS Egyptian unrest leads to extended state powers Under the assertion of combatting terrorism, Egypt will begin its latest three-month extension of a nationwide state of emergency. Egypt has been in a state of emergency since last April, when church bombings killed nearly 50 people. Prior to the 2011 uprising, the country
CAIRO IN CRISIS
Egyptian unrest leads to extended state powers
Under the assertion of combatting terrorism, Egypt will begin its latest three-month extension of a nationwide state of emergency.
Egypt has been in a state of emergency since last April, when church bombings killed nearly 50 people. Prior to the 2011 uprising, the country had been under emergency rule for over 30 years. Although the president is now permitted only one extension, Sisi has been able to immediately reinstate subsequent states of emergency.
With significantly expanded emergency powers, the state can imprison people indefinitely, restrict public gatherings and limit media freedom. Many charge Sisi’s regime with human rights abuses; it has allegedly imprisoned over 60,000 people since taking power in 2013.
As long as terrorist attacks continue to shake the country, the government has an excuse to renew emergency measures. While Sisi seeks a bid for re-election this March, expect the state to use these conditions to continue its crackdown on protests.
Final cost of reconstruction in Iraq to be revealed
The Iraqi government is expected to release detailed information today documenting the extent of damage caused to the country by ISIS’ insurgency.
In anticipation of a Kuwait-hosted donor conference in February, Iraq is preparing to outline the costs of recovery from the insurgency and measures to gain further international assistance in said recuperation.
The conference comes after Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi’s declaration of victory over ISIS last month. His announcement marks a rapid turnaround from 2014, when ISIS seized a third of the country.
Iraq is estimated to need around $100 billion to fund its recovery, and the conference aims to raise a significant portion of that sum. However, expect the summit to be impacted by the regional rivalry between Iran and the Gulf states. As Washington’s role in funding an Iraqi recovery is in question, Riyadh and Tehran will use the conference to vie for influence over Baghdad; both hope to gain the upper hand in currying favour with the oil-rich country.
BACK IN THE FOLD
Brazil’s convicted former leader seeks political redemption
Today, supporters of Brazil’s former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will protest against his corruption charges, claiming the prosecution is politically biased. If his appeal fails, Lula will be ineligible to run for re-election this October and could face up to 10 years in jail.
Despite facing imprisonment for receiving over a million dollars in bribes, Lula is championed by working-class voters and is currently the front-runner for the October election; recent polling suggests he would capture over 30% of the vote.
Regardless of his popularity, Brazil’s appeals court is unlikely to overturn Lula’s conviction when it meets on January 24. Instead, look to former Environment Minister Marina Silva to represent the left-wing Workers Party.
A race between Silva and far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in a second round would be likely, with both drawing a hard line at corruption. However, expect Lula and his supporters to explore every angle before giving up his chance at the presidency.
Delve deeper: Operation Car Wash: cleaning out Brazilian corruption