Egyptian MP proposes ‘extra grade points’ for students who vote in presidential elections

In this file photo, election officials wait for voters inside a polling station on the second day of voting in the Egyptian election of 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 February 2018
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Egyptian MP proposes ‘extra grade points’ for students who vote in presidential elections

A parliamentarian in Egypt has reportedly suggested that students who take part in the upcoming nationwide presidential elections should be allocated “extra grade points” for their participation.
Member of Parliament Dina Abdel Aziz was quoted as saying that her idea is aimed at encouraging students to participate in the election process.
Speaking on the phone to an Egyptian talk show on Saturday, she said she had discussed the idea with followers of her personal Facebook account, denying that she intended to bring up the subject in the parliament.
“The proposal is based on motivating students between the ages of 18 to 22 years to participate in the political process in accordance with Article 82 of the constitution, which stipulates that the state shall ensure the welfare of young people and youth, and to discover their talents and develop their abilities in all fields,” she said, as quoted by Al-Masry El-Youm.
Presidential elections in Egypt are set to take place from March 26- 28 with only two candidates running — current president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and political figure Mousa Mostafa Mousa.


Morocco Christians urge religious freedom before pope visit

Updated 32 min 55 sec ago
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Morocco Christians urge religious freedom before pope visit

  • Morocco is 99 percent Muslim
  • The pontiff is due to visit the North African country on March 30-31 at the invitation of King Mohammed VI

RABAT: Morocco’s Christian minority on Thursday called on authorities in the Muslim-majority country to guarantee religious freedoms, ahead of a visit by Pope Francis.
The Coordination of Moroccan Christians, a group representing converts to Christianity in a nation that is 99 percent Muslim, appealed for “basic freedoms of which we, Moroccan Christians, are still often deprived.”
These include freedom of public worship as well as the right to have church or civil weddings and Christian funeral rites and education, it said in a statement.
“We dream of a free Morocco” which embraces religious diversity, the group said, adding that it hopes Pope Francis’s visit this month will be a “historic occasion” for the country.
“We also call on the Moroccan authorities to no longer put pressure on the country’s official churches, including the Catholic church in Morocco, to dissuade them from accepting” converts to Christianity, the statement said.
The pontiff is due to visit the North African country on March 30-31 at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.
More than 40,000 Christians — mostly foreigners — are estimated to live in Morocco, whose king describes himself as the “commander of the faithful.”
Religious pluralism is enshrined in the constitution and freedom of worship is guaranteed, according to the Moroccan authorities.