Egypt's President El-Sisi says he will stand for reelection

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. (AFP)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Egypt's President El-Sisi says he will stand for reelection

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on Friday he will run for a second term in office in an election in March, which the former military commander is widely expected to win.
“Today ... I tell you frankly and transparently that I hope you would allow and accept my candidacy for the president’s post,” Sissi told a cheering crowd.
The vote will be held on March 26-28, with a run-off vote on April 24-26 if no candidate wins more than 50 percent in the first round. Candidates will register from Jan. 20 to 29.
In the televised announcement, Sissi listed Egypt’s achievements during his first term, including a nascent financial recovery after years of political turmoil and economic instability.
“Building the state takes 16 to 20 years, I am trying to finish it in 8 years, God willing,” Sissi said.
The former general became president in 2014, winning 96.91 percent of the vote, although turnout was only about 47 percent of the 54 million voters, after voting was extended for a day.


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will refuse Israeli tax transfers

Updated 25 min 17 sec ago
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Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will refuse Israeli tax transfers

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not accept a monthly tax transfer from Israel if it carries out its decision to deduct amounts the Palestinians pay to the families of prisoners and people killed in fighting with Israel.
Abbas on Wednesday accused Israel of trying to put political pressure on him and violating longstanding economic agreements.
He said it would be the “final nail in the coffin” of those agreements and said he would not accept the funds if even “one penny” is deducted.
The monthly tax transfers cover about two-thirds of the Palestinian budget.
Without those funds, Abbas’ autonomy government will fall into a crisis and not be able to pay full salaries to its tens of thousands of employees.