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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Historic debate between candidates for Cairo university president post to be aired live

'Live' debates between nine candidates for president Cairo university will be held next week in order to choose new school boss, end 30 years of top-down political control by the former dictator Mubarak in academia

Nada Hussein Rashwan, Saturday 8 Oct 2011
Cairo Uni
Protests in Cairo University against presence of Secret police on campus, 2009 (Photo:AP)
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The official website of Cairo University announced that the school will conduct 'live' debates between candidates running for the post of president of the university on the Campus of Egypt's largest higher education school.

This will be the first democratic elections to be held in any Egyptian public university after the ouster of president Mubarak, under whom university presidents were appointed rather than elected.

The voting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 13 October, with nine official candidates competing for the position thus far.

Cairo University’s former president, Hossam Kamel, who is considered to be a Mubarak-hack by many in the faculty and student body, submitted his resignation during the summer. However, he will run for the post once again through elections.

The debate will be broadcast live from one of Cairo University’s biggest halls and streamed live on the internet.

Candidates, speaking from outside campus but appearing on large screens in the school's Grand Hall on site, will present their electoral program in the form of statements.

Professors and teaching staff, who have voting rights in the election, will watch live streaming of candidates statements and they could have a chance to ask questions.

During the former dictator's reign, university presidents were appointed and not elected in order to ensure the presence of State Security on university campuses, who influenced policy-making within universities and intimidated students who criticised the regime.

Student and professors protests erupted in Cairo University and across many schools during the spring semester of the 2011 academic year – following the fall of Mubarak – to demand that the president and all deans of the school's colleges resign.

In response, the cabinet of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf declared its intention to remove all incumbent university heads and hold elections.

However, Egypt’s ruling military council did not ratify the Cabinet’s decision.

Therefore, Sharaf was forced to shift course and, instead of dismissing college presidents, he asked them to voluntarily resign.

This retreat by Sharaf angered university professors and students who have been staging protests in Alexandria University,  Ain Shams University and elsewhere since the start of the new school year in early October to push out their respective college presidents.

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azzasedky
08-10-2011 05:29pm
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Somewhat worried
I find the idea of a debate quite democratic. My fear that with nine candidates it will end being chaotic. I hope those in academia will behave in a democratic and intelligent manner and that the situation doesn't go totally bezerk.
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