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Briefly: Middle East
Elections to go ahead July 24
TUNIS — Tunisia’s transitional government said Tuesday that elections for a national constituent assembly would go ahead on July 24 despite calls from the election commission for a delay until October.
The constituent assembly will draw up a new constitution and prepare for elections to replace the transitional government set up after the fall in January of the regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was president for 23 years.
“The council of ministers has discussed thoroughly the election commission proposal and has decided to maintain the timetable decided on by the government and the president, that is to say elections on July 24,” said government spokesman Taieb Baccouche.
The electoral commission, recently set up to prepare and oversee the vote, on Sunday recommended postponing it until Oct. 16, saying it needed more time to prepare.
Mubarak, sons to be tried for killings, corruption
CAIRO — Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and his two sons will face trial before a criminal court over the killings of anti-regime protesters and corruption, the official MENA news agency reported.
The agency reported that the 83-year-old ousted strongman and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, have been charged with “premeditated murder of some participants in the peaceful protests of the January 25 revolution.”
They also have been charged with profiteering and using their positions for illicit gains and squandering public funds, the agency reported.
The charges extend to a fourth defendant, Hussein Salem, a businessman close to Mr. Mubarak who has been blamed for a controversial deal to supply Israel with gas at lower-than-usual prices. He has fled the country.
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