No politics in military academy admissions, director says

The country's military academy will announce the names of applicants who have been accepted next week, academy head Major General Essmat Mourad said Wednesday, asserting that the admission process is not influenced by politics or religion.

Mourad told reporters on the sidelines of an academy graduation ceremony that tests added recently are meant to adapt students to the general practices of military life.

"Throughout its history, the academy has not recognized any hindrances to the admission of any Egyptian," he said.

Concerns have surfaced that the rise of Islamists to power would lead to an attempt to dominate the key military and police training institution. In February, Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted security sources as saying lawmakers from the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party had asked for a six-month intensive courses in the Police Academy devoted to law school graduates affiliated with the group, reportedly to help fill security gaps. The Brotherhood denied such claims and Police Academy officials said they don’t set quotas for any political or other groups.

Mourad told reporters Wednesday that "allegations about rejecting any applicant for political, religious, or ethnic considerations are untrue. We have Muslim and Christian students from Sinai, Matrouh, Cairo, Aswan and all governorates, as well as the sons of priests, the rich, and the poor. Our policies have not changed in that respect."

Commenting on calls in Sinai to increase the region's proportion of academy students, Mourad said, "No one has the authority to ask for a fixed share, this is against the principles of justice and equality between academy students. We do not apply quotas."

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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