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Abdel-Mohsen Salama elected as new head of Egyptian Press Syndicate

Salama promised in his campaign to improve the financial situation of journalists and "save the syndicate from crisis."

Ahram Online , Friday 17 Mar 2017
Abdel-Mohsen Salama
Abdel-Mohsen Salama (Photo: Ahram)
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Members of Egypt's Press Syndicate elected journalist and Al-Ahram newspaper's managing editor Abdel-Mohsen Salama as head of the syndicate, the committee supervising elections announced Friday .

Salama recieved 2457 votes, while his competitor Yehia Kalash, the now-former head of the syndicate, received 1890 votes, among 4523 total correct votes, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Salama's term, his first, is to last two years. He promised in his campaign to improve the financial situation of journalists and "save the syndicate from crisis."

Salama ran for syndicate head in 2013, but lost to Diaa Rashwan.

Counting continues for the board members, and expected to be declared within the coming hours.

Seven journalists competed for the top post, while around 70 others ran for posts on the syndicate’s council.

Voting in the press syndicate elections started on Friday at 2:30pm after member attendance reached a 25 percent (2,150 journalists) minimum requirement. The elections had been postponed in early March due to lack of quorum.

On 3 March, only 1,300 journalists attended the assembly to vote, far fewer than the 50 percent attendance required.

The syndicate comprises around 10,000 members with full voting rights.

Given the low turnout on 3 March, the assembly lowered the proportion of members required to attend on Friday to only one quarter.

In late 2016, Kalash and board members Khaled El-Balshy and Gamal Abdel-Rehim were given a two-year suspended prison sentence on charges of “harbouring fugitives inside the syndicate's headquarters.”

The court's sentence came after two journalists, who were wanted for “spreading false news” regarding Egypt’s Red Sea island deal with Saudi Arabia, were arrested in May inside the syndicate’s Cairo headquarters.

Kalash and the two board members were released on bail of EGP 10,000 each and filed appeals. The court has set 25 March to issue a ruling on their appeals.

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