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Egypts first Islamist President elected

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Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  Panda on Sun 24 Jun - 17:31

5:07pm UK, Sunday June 24, 2012

Mohamed Morsi has been declared Egypt's first Islamist president, narrowly defeating Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
The Muslim Brotherhood candidate won 51.73% of last weekend's run-off vote, the state election committee said.

Mr Morsi won 13,230,131 votes, against Mr Shafiq, who clinched 12,347,380.

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters burst into cheers at Cairo's Tahrir Square,dancing and waving flags and posters of the Islamist leader.

Morsi: From Prisoner To President
:: The son of a peasant, he gained an engineering degree in Cairo in 1975
:: Has a PhD from the University of Southern California
:: The 60-year-old has promised a moderate, modern Islamist agenda
:: Was jailed for seven months in 2005
:: Imprisoned for protesting for reformist judges
:: Was jailed again in January 2011
:: Freed himself a few days later during massive prison breaks across Egypt
:: Morsi is married with five children

Mr Morsi has pledged that Egypt under his leadership will be inclusive, and he courted secular and Christian voters.

He promised an "Egyptian renaissance with an Islamic foundation" under his rule.

A retiring individual, Mr Morsi has vowed to uphold the goals of the revolution that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising last year, and to share power with other parties.

However, his victory appears to be symbolic after the military council, which ruled the Arab nation after Mubarak stood down, has this month curbed the powers of the presidency.

The changes mean the head of state will have to work closely with the army on a planned democratic constitution.

Mr Morsi, 60, is a US-educated engineer who spent time in jail under Mubarak.

He won the first round ballot in May with just under a quarter of the vote.

Many Egyptians were dismayed that what was billed as their first democratic presidential election turned into a power struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood - the same forces that faced off under the old regime.

The election, in which more than 50 million voters were eligible to cast their ballot, saw a relatively low turnout of just 51.8%.


Hopefully this will stop the violence in Egypt over the first Election producing a result for the Military which protesters said was rigged.

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Re: Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 24 Jun - 17:51

And if people thought Mubarak was bad, wait till they see what this Muslim Brotherhood (emphasis on brothers) does. Here comes Sharia: hang gays, make sure women walk around like mobile tents, chop the hands off anyone caught stealing, kill women who dishonour their family, punish women who have been raped with a few hundred lashes. And Christians and Jews? Well, better start leaving now, I reckon.

"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)


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Re: Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  Panda on Wed 27 Jun - 7:24

Egypt's new president to pick woman, Christian VPsBy the CNN Wire Staff
June 27, 2012 -- Updated 0208 GMT (1008 HKT)
Egypt's president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, is in the process of putting together a government.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
A Cairo court overturns a rule allowing the military to arrest civilians
Mohamed Morsi's adviser says he will pick a woman and a Christian as vice presidents
Morsi has begun assembling a new government
Ahmed Shafik will establish a new political party in Egypt, his office says
Cairo (CNN) -- Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, will appoint a woman as one of his vice presidents and a Christian as another, his policy adviser told CNN.

"For the first time in Egyptian history -- not just modern but in all Egyptian history -- a woman will take that position," Ahmed Deif told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday. "And it's not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential Cabinet."

Amanpour blog: The woman who monitored Egypt's election

The news came as the man Morsi beat for the presidency, Ahmed Shafik, left Egypt for Abu Dhabi, and as Cairo's administrative court overturned a rule that allowed the military to arrest people without a warrant.

Though Morsi had previously argued for banning women from the presidency, he said before the election that as president he would stand for women's rights.

"The role of women in Egyptian society is clear," Morsi told CNN weeks before the runoff election. "Women's rights are equal to men. Women have complete rights, just like men. There shouldn't be any kind of distinction between Egyptians except that ... based on the constitution and the law."

Shafik's backers disappointed, disgusted
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Egypt: history made, challenges ahead The Islamist figure, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, also promised to safeguard the rights of minorities.

Egypt "definitely" will not be an "Islamic Republic," Deif said Monday.

Morsi moved into his offices Monday, said Jihad Haddad, an adviser to the transition team.

He began the work of assembling a new government -- one of the powers he maintains after the military junta running the country recently slashed the presidency's reach.

The process of picking people to serve in the Cabinet "won't end in a day," Haddad said.

Shafik, who lost in the runoff election to Morsi, left the country Tuesday for the United Arab Emirates, his attorney and a Cairo airport official said.

He traveled to Abu Dhabi, Cairo airport official Mohamed Sultan said.

He is not fleeing the country, Shafik's attorney, Showee Elsayed, told CNN.

While legal petitions accusing Shafik of corruption were submitted in April, prosecutors have not taken legal action on them, so "there are absolutely no legal cases pending" against him, Elsayed said.

Shafik was the final prime minister to serve under President Hosni Mubarak before he was ousted.

Shafik's office said Tuesday he "will establish a new political party upon his return from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where he is on private visits."

He and his two daughters will perform Umrah, an Islamic religious pilgrimage to Mecca.

Meanwhile, Cairo's administrative court, which hears civilian complaints against the government, rejected a controversial rule Tuesday that the Ministry of Justice had established before the election.

The rule stated that military personnel and intelligence forces could arrest civilians without a warrant. The right to arrest civilians had previously been reserved for police officers, the state-run Ahram news agency reported.

The court also decided that, on September 1, it will look into legal petitions filed against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces over its decision to cancel the constitutional committee, which had been charged by the parliament before it was dissolved with drafting a new constitution.

The court decided that on July 7, it will look into legal petitions filed to stop recently issued constitutional articles by SCAF that limit the powers of the president.

And on July 10, the court will look into legal petitions filed against the decision to dissolve parliament.

They were among 14 legal complaints filed about the rule by various individuals and groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

CNN's Samuel Burke, Amir Ahmed and Josh Levs contributed to this report.

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Re: Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  Panda on Tue 10 Jul - 9:34

Jul 9, 10:51 PM EDT

New crisis looms in Egypt over legislature's fate


CAIRO (AP) -- A new showdown loomed in Egypt on Monday as the country's highest court stood by its ruling that dissolved parliament last month, challenging the new Islamist president's plans to reconvene the lower chamber in defiance of the military.

If he goes ahead, Mohammed Morsi would be taking a dramatic step away from the outreach that characterized his first days in office. It's a tough fight, though, and the president could lose it along with more of his already diminished powers.

The military, which handed power to Morsi on June 30 after ruling the country for 16 months, delivered a thinly-veiled warning to the president, saying it would continue to support the country's "legitimacy, constitution and law" - language that means it will not stand by and watch the rulings of the country's top court ignored or breached.

At the same time, the Supreme Constitutional Court sent out a clear signal that it will not bow to Morsi's wish, saying in a statement after an emergency meeting on Monday that its June 14 ruling to invalidate the Islamist-dominated parliament was final and binding.

"Morsi's move sets the stage for a potentially very serious political and constitutional crisis," said Michael W. Hanna, an expert on Egypt from the New York-based Century Foundation.

Morsi, through his spokesman Yasser Ali, insisted his decision to reconvene the 508-seat chamber on Tuesday was an "assertion of the popular will."

His presidential decree also calls for new parliamentary elections after a new constitution is adopted, something that is not expected before the end of the year - in effect according legitimacy to a legislature the country's highest court ruled to be invalid.

In its ruling last month, the supreme court determined that a third of parliament's members were illegally elected under a law that allowed candidates from political parties to compete for seats that had been set aside for independents. Based on that verdict, the then-ruling military disbanded the house, in which Islamists controlled more than 70 percent of the seats.

In the days that followed, the generals pushed through a series of decrees that gave themselves legislative powers, as well as control over the drafting of a new constitution and the national budget. It also stripped Morsi of significant presidential powers.

The high court was to rule Tuesday - the same day parliament was set to reconvene - on three cases questioning the legality of the president's order.

The dispute over the fate of parliament has divided the nation just as Egyptians were looking forward to a semblance of stability after the tumult of the 17 months since the ouster of longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak. Egypt has seen a dramatic surge in crime, deadly street protests, a faltering economy and seemingly non-stop strikes, sit-ins and demonstrations.

Some of the youth groups who engineered the uprising that toppled Mubarak sided with Morsi, viewing his move as an attempt to curtail the military's powers. Others saw it as another bid by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood to pursue its own interests rather than the nation's.

"Morsi's decision is going to give us a huge problem," predicted Hesham el-Kashef, a 23-year-old lawyer and rights activist. "He is drowning us in legal problems and it is all for the sake of the Brotherhood."

Many liberal lawmakers said they would either boycott Tuesday's session or wait for the constitutional court ruling on Morsi's decree before they decide.

"How can we go and attend in violation of a court ruling?" said Imad Gad, a liberal lawmaker. "There must be respect for the law and for state institutions."

Morsi also received harsh criticism from the country's judiciary.

Ahmed el-Zind, the head of the powerful association of judges, gave Morsi a 36-hour ultimatum to rescind his decision and offer an apology to judges or face what he called "harsher" options.

Parliament remained under police guard, though it was unlikely the security forces would try to prevent lawmakers from entering the central Cairo building on Tuesday, unless the supreme court declares Morsi's decree unconstitutional before the session starts.

It is because of this possibility, according to the official Middle East News, that speaker Saad el-Katatni brought forward the start of the session by two hours.

Morsi's decision poses a series of legal and political challenges.

If the chamber is allowed to sit until new parliamentary elections are held, every piece of legislation it adopts would be challenged in court. Also, by reinstating the legislature, the country would have two sources of legislative powers: the military, under its June 17 declaration, and the legislature.

Morsi's own standing as a unifying figure in the wake of months of turmoil would also suffer if he were to be locked in a battle with the military and much of the judiciary.

Earlier Monday, Morsi appeared to be trying to ease the appearance of a growing showdown, appearing with the country's top generals at a military graduation ceremony. Morsi was seated between the head of the military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan. All three sat grim-faced for most of the ceremony, though Tantawi and Morsi exchanged a few words on the reviewing stand.

Some experts noted the delicate path Morsi must tread.

"The particular difficulty of the moment is that Morsi is now in a position where he needs to steer the country towards stability and legitimacy without negating the constitutionality of the rule of law," said Karen Greenberg, Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, New York.

"It's an unenviable position but it is no less than one would have expected for the ambitious task for which he was elected," she said.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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Re: Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  Panda on Wed 11 Jul - 8:56

Jul 10, 11:09 PM EDT

Egypt's president flexes power, but cautiously

Associated Press

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CAIRO (AP) -- The faceoff between Egypt's new Islamist president and the old guard military sharpened Tuesday, with parliament defying orders to disband and the highest court slapping back at Mohammed Morsi in what has become an early glimpse into how he may flex his power.

Morsi's rapid-fire moves against Egypt's entrenched institutions show he is willing to push back against the establishment left over from the era of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. But - so far at least - he and his Muslim Brotherhood allies have also displayed restraint and appear intent on avoiding a collision course during a sensitive transition period.

It could point to a complicated and protracted shake-out between Morsi and Egypt's security and judicial power centers, as all sides test the limits of their powers while the country awaits its post-Arab Spring constitution - not expected before the end of the year.

In place of an all-out confrontation, Egypt may be witnessing the new rules of political engagement being defined in a time of highly unclear guidelines: tough statements, conflicting orders and attempts to push the envelope but not tear it up.

"One of them came through the ballot box and the other is trying to monopolize power," Gamal Eid, a prominent rights lawyer said of Morsi and the generals.

Already, Morsi has shown the ability to multi-task his political messages and end up somewhere in the middle.

During the campaign, he catered to hard-line Islamists with calls to strengthen Shariah law and celebrated his deep allegiance to the Brotherhood, long banned under Mubarak's Western-backed regime. But he also portrayed himself as a son of the Arab Spring, appearing with women without head coverings.

The brief session by the Morsi-backed parliament - lasting just five minutes - appeared to show the same tactics of both defiance and caution.

Lawmakers convened despite the house being ordered dissolved by the military after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled on apparent election irregularities. But the speaker, Saad el-Katatni, sought to fend off charges that the Islamist-led chamber was contemptuous of the judiciary.

He told lawmakers the session was held only to find a way to examine the court's June 14 ruling and won backing to seek an appellate "second opinion."

Later, the high court struck back against Morsi, saying his decision to recall parliament lacked any legal basis.

The president carefully avoided criticism of the court's ruling in his order Sunday to reconvene parliament. Instead, he restricted himself to revoking the military order that disbanded the chamber - in effect picking the easier target because of widespread public frustration with the military's lingering influence over the country since Mubarak's fall.

But in taking on the military, Morsi has also picked a still formidable foe with massive resources and powerful allies in the media.

The military brass has been Egypt's de facto ruler since army officers seized power in a 1952 coup. With conscription of males in force since the 1960s and four wars against Israel between 1948 and 1973, there is hardly an Egyptian family without at least one member in active service or with military experience.

"The best strategy for Morsi now might be to avoid confrontational policies and begin to slowly create a power base for himself in the higher circles of the country's body politic," said Azzedine Layachi, a Middle East expert from St. John's University in New York. "For now, a confrontation may not only stall political transition in Egypt, but could also lead to Morsi's removal from office."

Morsi can depend on the backing of a disciplined and efficient machine in the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful political group that won just under half of parliament's seats in the country's freest election in decades.

The Brotherhood, which has been banned by successive regimes during most of its 84 years, nevertheless has acquired an impressive record of mobilizing supporters.

On Tuesday, thousands of Brotherhood backers filled Cairo's Tahrir Square, cradle of last year's uprising. Some danced and sang, while many carried Morsi portraits. They greeted Tuesday's ruling against Morsi's decree with chants of "batel," or illegitimate.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is scheduled to visit Egypt this weekend, urged Morsi and the military to settle their differences in the spirit of the revolution.

"We urge that there be intensive dialogue among all of the stakeholders in order to ensure there is a clear path for them to be following and that the Egyptian people get what they protested for and what they voted for, which is a fully elected government making the decisions," she said during a trip to Vietnam.

But if Morsi wants to use the street to prevail in his fight with the military, he will need to show that he can draw support from beyond the Brotherhood's base - something that may prove tough.

Most of the youth groups behind last year's anti-Mubarak uprising are on the fence. As the Brotherhood and the military square off, their memories are still fresh of the Brotherhood abandoning them during deadly clashes with security forces last year.

At the time, the Brotherhood said it was focusing its energy on campaigning for parliamentary elections. Critics contended, however, that it did not want to anger the military by taking part in protests demanding the generals immediately step down.

"I personally want parliament to be reinstated, but a great deal of people I know want court rulings to be respected," said Ahmed Badawi, a liberal activist. "For now, Morsi has the active support of Islamists."

Possibly anticipating his fight with the military, Morsi used a series of high-profile speeches to win support outside the Muslim Brotherhood, mixing revolutionary rhetoric with dramatic gestures and signs of religious piety.

"I am a president for all Egyptians," he has said more than once in recent days in a bid to reassure liberals, women and minority Christians who fear he will inject more religion into government and push them to the sidelines.

Morsi has also been trying to project the image of a strong president who commands the respect of the powerful military. For the second consecutive day, he attended a military graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

Unlike his four military predecessors, Morsi is not the supreme commander of the armed forces and, under a "constitutional declaration" issued by the military last month, he cannot declare war or order troops on the streets in the case of a domestic crisis without prior agreement from the military.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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Re: Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  Panda on Mon 16 Jul - 11:06

Cairo (CNN) -- Egyptian protesters threw tomatoes and shoes at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade Sunday and shouted, "Monica, Monica, Monica" as she left the newly reopened U.S. Consulate in Alexandria.

Clinton said she was in the city to answer critics who believe Washington has taken sides in Egyptian politics. There were already vocal protesters at the start of her visit to the consulate, forcing the ceremony to be moved inside.

"I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot," Clinton said at the ceremony to reopen the consulate, which was closed in 1993 because of budget constraints.

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"I have come to Alexandria to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for their democratic future."

The protesters threw the tomatoes, shoes and a water bottle as the staff walked to their vans after the ceremony and riot police had to hold back the crowd. A tomato hit an Egyptian official in the face.

Clinton urges smooth Egypt transition
Clinton meets with Morsy in Egypt Clinton's van was around the corner from the protesters, and a senior State Department official said her car was not hit.

The chants of "Monica" refer to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Earlier Sunday, Clinton held a closed-door meeting with the head of Egypt's military leadership, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, whose military council is in a political tug of war with new President Mohamed Morsy.

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Egypt's military leaders took control of the government after a popular uprising toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, promising to hand over control after elections.

But after this year's elections, the military council issued a decree stripping the presidency of much of its power. And more than two weeks after Morsy took office, the country remains in the throes of domestic political chaos. The president has no Cabinet and the country has no parliament.

Clinton met with Morsy on Saturday and urged him to assert the "full authority" of his office. She stressed that it is up to the Egyptian people to shape the country's political future, but also said the United States would work "to support the military's return to a purely national security role."

Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi greets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before a meeting in Cairo.Clinton and Tantawi, who met for just over an hour Sunday, discussed the political transition and the military ruling council's ongoing dialogue with Morsy, said a senior State Department official, who described the meeting on condition of anonymity.

Later Sunday, in meetings with representatives from civil society groups and Christian leaders, Clinton addressed concerns from some who have been skeptical of the United States' neutrality in Egypt's political transition, another senior State Department official said.

"There has been some suspicion, some assertion, and we heard some of that today, that somehow the U.S. has put its finger on the scale in favor of one side or another in this transition," the official said. "And she wanted in very, very clear terms, particularly with the Christian group this morning, to dispel that notion and to make clear that only Egyptians can choose their leaders, that we have not supported any candidate, any party, and we will not."

As she left the country Sunday night, Clinton said her two days of meetings showed her the Egyptian people "have legitimate concerns, and I will be honest and say they have legitimate fears about their future."

Egypt's fragile economy has been a top item on Clinton's agenda during the trip. The secretary of state also met with business entrepreneurs affiliated with Flat6Labs, an organization that provides seed money, mentoring and work space to small Egyptian companies to help them realize their concepts.

"Thanks to all of you for being willing to take a risk," she said.

Clinton aides said the secretary of state wanted to visit Cairo early after Morsy's swearing-in to show that the Obama administration wants to help the new government improve Egypt's economy.

In meetings with Morsy and Tantawi, Clinton discussed a U.S. economic package that would relieve as much as $1 billion in Egyptian debt and help foster innovation, growth and job creation, officials said. She also said the United States is ready to make available $250 million in loan guarantees to Egyptian businesses.

Tantawi told Clinton that what Egyptians need most now is help getting the economy back on track, one senior State Department official said.

Egypt's military is the foundation of the modern state, having overthrown the country's monarchy in 1952. Tantawi, a 76-year-old career infantry officer, fought in Egypt's 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which Tantawi heads, currently wields legislative power, having ordered the dissolution of parliament after the country's highest court ruled that it had been elected under invalid laws.

Morsy tried to call it back into session after he was sworn in, but the court reaffirmed its decision, so the military council retains lawmaking powers until a new parliament is sworn in near the end of the year.

In the presidential election, Morsy edged out Ahmed Shafik -- the last prime minister under Mubarak -- winning nearly 52% of the votes cast.

He resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party shortly after the results were announced, in an apparent effort to send a message that he will represent all Egyptians.

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Re: Egypts first Islamist President elected

Post  Panda on Mon 13 Aug - 7:14

Egypt's President Sacks Generals In Shake-Up

In a dramatic move to free himself of some of the restrictions of military rule, Mohammed Morsi dismisses Army chiefs.

1:56am UK, Monday 13 August 2012

Mohammed Morsi is trying to roll back the military's influence

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Egypt's newly elected Egyptian president has ordered his defence minister and chief of staff to retire - his boldest move so far to seize back powers that the military stripped from his office before he took over.

Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been locked in a power struggle with the military since he took office on June 30.

But after militants killed 16 Egyptian soldiers a week ago at a border post with Israel in Sinai, he has sought more aggressively to assert his authority over the top generals.

A few days ago Mr Morsi fired the nation's intelligence chief and made two highly publicised visits to Sinai in the company of top commanders.

He also chaired several meetings with the military brass and made a point of calling himself the supreme commander of the armed forces in televised speeches.

Mr Morsi effectively dismissed defence minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who ruled Egypt for more than a year after the revolution that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak, and chief of staff General Sami Annan.

The president also scrapped a key constitutional document which gave the military legislative powers, his spokesman Yasser Ali said.
Supporters of Mr Morsi in Cairo's Tahrir Square
A few hours after the decisions were announced, Mr Morsi called on Egyptians to rally behind him.

"Today's decisions are not directed at certain persons or meant to embarrass certain institutions," he said in a televised speech.

After his address, thousands of Morsi supporters celebrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square - the birthplace of the uprising that ousted Mubarak 18 months ago.

"These are bold decisions that we have been waiting for for so long. These decisions are to complete the revolution, the revolution started to succeed," said Ahmed Hassan, a Morsi supporter.

If Mr Morsi's decisions go unchallenged, it could mean the end of six decades of de facto military rule since army officers seized power in a coup in 1952.

But removing Tantawi and Annan does not necessarily mean that the military, Egypt's most powerful institution, has been defeated or that it would give up decades of perks and prestige without a fight.

Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, won both parliamentary and presidential elections in the first free and fair votes in Egypt's modern history.

The group had been repressed under Mubarak, who ran a secular state.

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