Update: Voting about to close in Journalists Syndicate elections

Voting started in the Journalists Syndicate elections Friday afternoon, and was set to continue until 7 pm.

Gamal Fahmy, undersecretary of the syndicate, said that journalists condemned the deaths of their fellows Ahmed Mahmoud and al-Husseiny Abu Daif. He denounced the authorities’ failure to identify and arrest their killers, and also said the syndicate rejected the Constitution, especially those articles infringing on the freedom of the press.

The syndicate board would discuss approving a new structure for the body, Fahmy said, adding that all press institutions must abide by the general assembly’s past decisions, including setting the age for retirement at 65, and giving the board the power to take disciplinary measures against those who violate the decisions of their editors-in-chief or the heads of state-run press institutions.

The general assembly called for a conference to be held as soon as possible to discuss the future of the press and journalism in state-run institutions.

The assembly also announced solidarity with workers at recently closed media institutions, and asked the board to find solutions to those institutions' problems. They also said they refused to normalize any relations with Israel.

The Journalists Syndicate had announced earlier on Friday afternoon that the necessary quorum to hold elections was reached by 3 pm.

The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website that over 1,600 journalists registered their names today. Registration for attendees started at 10 am and was extended to 3 pm in order to reach the quorum.

Themid-term elections that will select the syndicate head and six of its 12 board members. There are 6,049 journalists who are eligible to vote. A quorum of 25 percent plus one was needed to hold the elections, or 1,512 syndicate members.

Five candidates are contesting the chairman position, while 48 members are running for the six board seats.

The elections were scheduled to take place earlier this month, but the syndicate failed to reach a quorum.

Edited translation from MENA

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