Journalists plan to oust syndicate head

Egyptian journalists called for withdrawing confidence from their syndicate president, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, after signatures of 250 members of the syndicate’s general assembly were gathered.

The journalists say they have enough signatures to propose a vote of no confidence.

They accuse Ahmed of adopting a weak position toward assaults on reporters during protests that called for the departure of the president.

At least one reporter was killed by the police in the protests that erupted on 25 January. Reporters said that security also suppressed their work.

Before resigning from his position as chairperson of Dar al-Hilal Publishing, Ahmed was a speech-writer for President Hosni Mubarak.

Yahia Qallash, a member of the Journalists Syndicate, said an emergency meeting to withdraw confidence from the syndicate head may now be held according to law.

He added that the meeting will also provide an opportunity to appraise the performance of the syndicate's council in light of the assaults to which some reporters were subjected.

The journalists also formed a committee to follow up on the performance of the syndicate and the members of its council.

Meanwhile, Ahmed told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he is ready to leave office if this is the wish of the general assembly, even though he has never stood against the interests of journalists.

In a related development, several journalists at national newspapers are planning to file a report with the Attorney General to probe how the chief editors and chairpersons of national newspapers–especially those from the National Democratic Party– gathered their fortunes.

A signature-gathering campaign has been launched at national newspapers toward that end, informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

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