Tuesday’s papers: Presidential policies and protests

In a Morsy-centric media day, Tuesday’s news stories center on the president, his policies and future plans. Morsy’s token pay raise or “bonus” to the people captures headlines in numerous papers, along with speculations as to whether or not Mohamed ElBaradei will be Morsy’s new prime minister. Tuesday’s papers also discuss the potential composition of the cabinet and presidential staff. Also making headlines are labor protests which took place outside the presidential palace on Monday; amongst other news.

In the state-owned Al-Akhbar Newspaper, a headline reads “Meetings within the Presidential Palace, protests outside the palace gates.” The article mentions that Morsy met with the Council of Governors at the presidential palace on Monday, while workers’ protests encircled the palace from outside.

Al-Akhbar mentions that “protests relocated from Tahrir Sq. and the Council of Ministers (in downtown Cairo) to the Presidential Palace” (in the Heliopolis district of Cairo.) Amongst those protesting outside the palace were around 1,000 workers from the Ceramica Cleopatra Company who had not received their wages or profit-sharing payments from ceramics tycoon Mohamed Abou El Enein, along with law graduates who could not find employment at Administrative Prosecution, drivers and employees sacked from the Al-Ahly Bank, and also the family of the lawyer Ahmed el-Gizawy. Gizawy’s family has been seeking the president’s intercession to release Ahmed from custody in Saudi Arabia — where he has been imprisoned for months on charges of drug smuggling.  

On Monday, Gizawy’s family desperately attempted to meet with Morsy to have him release the lawyer from Saudi prisons. For the second consecutive day, Morsy would not grant them his time. Gizawy’s wife claims that he has recently been relocated to an execution chamber within the prison where he is being detained.

In the liberal party newspaper Al-Wafd, a headline reads, “Protests surround presidential palace … along with a renewal of protests across many governorates.” The article mentions that teachers protested in Kafr al-Sheikh Governorate, persons with special needs protested outside the Fayyoum Governorate building, while nuclear scientists and technicians threatened to march and protest outside the presidential palace due to infringements upon the site of their planned reactor in al-Dabaa.

In the independent Al-Watan’s “Presidential palace besieged by protesters,” the newspaper mentions that tax collectors and tax authority employees were amongst the workers trying to meet with president Morsy in order to present their grievances.

Also capturing news headlines is the president’s pay raise to the Egyptian populace. “Mosry’s social pay raise … a Mubarak-style grant,” reads a headline in the independent Al-Shorouk. The article mentions that this token pay raise is reminiscent of Mubarak-style grants to the Egyptian people through which he sought their allegiance.

Al-Akhbar Newspaper points out that this pay raise will cost the state around LE3.5 million. This newspaper also indicates that the new (token) pay raise will increase monthly incomes — primarily in the public sector — by an average of only LE22 to LE110.

The top headline in Al-Wafd reads, “Pensioners refuse the president’s pay-raise.” The article mentions that the Independent Federation of Pensioners has criticized Morsy’s so-called “bonus.” According to the federation’s president, Badri Farghali, this raise amounts to an increase in pensioners’ income of 15 percent or less. Farghali argues that “this raise is in no way proportional to the increase in living expenses.”

In other news, Egypt’s papers continue to speculate as to who will be in Morsy’s cabinet and presidential staff. A headline in Al-Akhbar reads: “Freedom and Justice Party: Majority of new cabinet will go to the Brotherhood.”

Al-Shorouk reports that the Brotherhood is leaning towards former Brother and unsuccessful presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Mohammed ElBaradei as prime minister. The article adds that choices for deputy vice president may include the Coptic politicians Samir Morqos or Amin Iskandar.

In the independent Al-Dostour, however, sources close to ElBaradei claim that he has denied accepting the post of “head of government” under Morsy’s presidency, while Morsy’s presidential campaigners argue that ElBaradei would be the ideal candidate for the Egyptian prime minister.

Meanwhile, according to Al-Watan Newspaper, Egypt’s ultraconservative Islamists, the Salafi Nour Party, has criticized the Muslim Brotherhood for seeking to include women and Christians in Morsy’s staff or cabinet.

According to a spokesmen from the Nour Party, quoted in Al-Watan, “It is unacceptable for a Copt or woman to assume the post of vice-president.”

Al-Shorouk runs the headline “Principles of Sharia law leads to fallout amongst Brotherhood and Salafis,” in an article which reports the Nour Party had agreed with a leading Brotherhood member to remove the words “the principles of” from the second article of the constitution, to instead read that the “Islamic Sharia law is the source of legislation.” The Nour Party has expressed its disappointment with the Brotherhood, which wants to preserve Article 2 as is.

According to Al-Watan, “the new constitution will likely retain Article 2 unchanged, while there is talk of scrapping the 50 percent quota of parliamentary seats allocated to representatives of workers and farmers.”

In other developments, supporters of unsuccessful presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq continue to protest in the Nasr City neighborhood of Cairo. Al-Watan mentions that these protesters continue to block one side of the vital Autostrad Highway in eastern Cairo; while accusing Morsy of rigging the presidential elections. These pro-Shafiq protesters have allegedly been chanting against Morsy and the Brotherhood. They are also reportedly chanting slogans against Qatar and the United States.

In Al-Tahrir’s coverage of US Senator John McCain’s visit to Egypt tomorrow is to ensure that US-Egyptian relations remain strong. Senator McCain is expected to meet with Morsy and Egypt’s top army generals to make sure that the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel are upheld.

Al-Tahrir also mentions that Israeli diplomats have been visiting Egypt since Morsy’s victory, also to safeguard the Camp David Accords, along with bilateral trade agreements, particularly the Qualified Industrial Zones agreement, which includes Israeli input and products.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party

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