CAIRO (AP) — A Saudi-owned satellite television network says Egypt’s top satirist will be off the air until after the upcoming May presidential election to avoid influencing voters.
The Middle East Broadcasting Center said Saturday that Bassem Youssef will be off the air to show “respect for the election process, and to strive to avoid influencing Egyptian voters’ orientation and public opinion.”
Youssef is often compared to U.S. comedian Jon Stewart. MBC began airing Youssef’s show in February after an Egyptian private channel suspended it last fall for attacking “symbols of the state.”
Youssef has ridiculed the recent surge of nationalism in Egypt, as well as the euphoria surrounding the country’s former military chief, currently the front-runner in the presidential race.