Egyptian celebs join call for Sisi to run for second term

Updated 17 October 2017
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Egyptian celebs join call for Sisi to run for second term

CAIRO: A new petition calling for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to run for a second term in next year’s election has attracted the support of a number of Egyptian celebrities. El-Sisi’s current term ends in June 2018.

Movie stars, footballers, and prominent media personalities have added their voices to the “Alashan Tebneeha” (So You Can Build It) campaign recently launched by a group of parliamentarians.

From movie star Hani Salama and controversial actress Ghada Abdel Razek, to veteran actors including Hussein Fahmy and Hassan Yousef, social media has been filled with pictures of celebs posing with the form they’ve signed.

But the organizers of the campaign stress that it is attracting Egyptians from all walks of life, and they reportedly have plans to tour Egyptian governorates to encourage more citizens to participate.

Art critic Nader Adly told Arab News that the celebrity endorsements “could boost public support for the initiative supporting El-Sisi’s re-election.”

“Artists in Egypt have been always affiliated with those in power, since the days of King Farouk,” Adly said. “The majority of our artists are supportive of our rulers and have no opposing views to our leadership. They would voice opposition in their artwork but not in (public statements).”

The 62-year-old El-Sisi is widely expected to run for a second term, although he has — on several occasions — declined to comment on his plans. He has, however, previously urged Egyptians in televised comments to come out and vote in large numbers in next year's election.


British defense contractor under fraud investigation over suspected corruption in Algeria

Updated 36 min 9 sec ago
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British defense contractor under fraud investigation over suspected corruption in Algeria

  • Ultra said in a statement that it had referred itself to the British fraud authorities and that the SFO investigation concerned the business conduct of Ultra, its subsidiaries, employees and associated persons
  • The SFO’s investigation into Ultra, which makes military electronics for land, air and sea forces, follows probes into other British companies operating in the defense sector including Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems

LONDON: Ultra Electronics on Thursday announced that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office had opened a criminal investigation into “suspected corruption in the conduct of business” by the British defense contractor in Algeria.
Ultra said in a statement that it had referred itself to the British fraud authorities and that the SFO investigation concerned the business conduct of Ultra, its subsidiaries, employees and associated persons.
“Given the stage of these matters, it is not possible to estimate reliably what effect the outcome of this matter may have on the group,” Ultra said, adding that it continued to co-operate with the SFO.
The SFO in a statement said it was looking into Ultra but said it could not provide additional information as the investigation “is live.”
Ultra shares were down 6 percent in early trade.
The SFO’s investigation into Ultra, which makes military electronics for land, air and sea forces, follows probes into other British companies operating in the defense sector including Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
Ultra Electronics’s biggest market is North America with just 17 percent of its revenue coming from what it calls “rest of the world.” It does not mention Algeria in its annual report.
Ultra, which last month abandoned a bid for US company Sparton Corp. due to anti-trust concerns, is currently without a chief executive.
Douglas Caster assumed the role of executive chairman last year after the previous CEO quit. New CEO Simon Pryce is due to join in June.
The SFO has been criticized by lawmakers in the past over its efforts to bring companies and senior individuals to book. More recently it has secured deferred prosecution agreements with Rolls-Royce and Tesco and filed unprecedented criminal charges against Barclays and former senior executives.