Vote count starts in Egypt's press syndicate elections

Ahram Online , Friday 17 Mar 2017

Abdel-Mohsen Salama(L) and Yehia Kalash(R) (photo: Al-Ahram)

The committee supervising the Egyptian press syndicate elections has announced the start of the vote counting process after an end to more than four hours of voting.

The elections saw voting for the post of head of the syndicate and six board members.

Around 4,000 journalists cast their ballots, sources in the supervising committee told Ahram Arabic news website.

Voting in Egypt's 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% 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 a quarter.

Seven journalists are competing for the top post. Current syndicate head Yehia Kalash and Al-Ahram Managing Editor Abdel-Mohsen Salama are main contenders.

Around 70 others are seeking posts in the syndicate’s council.

In late 2016, Kalash and two board members 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 mounted appeals. The court set 25 March to issue a ruling on their appeals.  

Short link: