Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided extensive coverage of the first round of the Parliamentary elections in Egypt on Oct. 18-19th. These were the first such elections since the previous chamber was dissolved in 2012. Alhurra had special live coverage throughout the day and extended newscasts to get reaction from the polls in Giza, Alexandria and Asyut, as well as interviews with Egyptian political analysts and American experts on Egypt. The network also extended its flagship talk show Free Hour to two hours during which representatives from a variety of political parties in Egypt discussed the lack of voter turnout and what that means for the political process in Egypt.
Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) spoke to Alhurra Television, reacting to the Obama Administration’s report to Congress on Egypt. The report, while harshly criticizing the Egyptian government for its lack of free speech and for undermining democracy, recommended that the U.S. continue to send $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt. Both lawmakers had tough words about the lack of freedoms highlighted in the President’s report. Rep. Poe said he did not think Egypt was doing enough to protect vulnerable groups within Egypt, stating the government “needs to do a better job” protecting religious minorities.