Tuesday’s papers: Turbulence within the army and Port Said civil disobedience

Al-Shorouk leads with, “prejudice against Sisi is suicide for the current political regime.” The paper reports that sources stated there was a widespread feeling of unease and anger among Armed Forces officers in the wake of rumors about the sacking of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the minister of defense. High level sources informed al-Shorouk that such rumors seek to test the Armed Forces' potential reaction towards the dismissal of their head, adding that the army will not re-enter the political scene.

The sources criticized the calls from certain activists, mentioning in particular Nawara Negm and Asmaa Mahfouz, for the Armed Forces to run the country again and suggested that these same people had previously chanted against army rule. Other military sources added that the army is aware of the attempts on the part of the Ultras to protest in front of the ministry of defense with the intention of pulling the army back into the political scene. The sources stated that any move against the Armed Forces leadership would be suicide for the current regime especially because the army is neutral and kept its promises to handle the transition period and hand the country to a civil and elected president.

Party newspaper Al-Wafd writes, “Army anger rises because of Sisi's dismissal rumor.” An army source stated that the Armed Forces will not allow a repeat of the Tantawy-Anan scenario. On the same note, a well informed source stated that the Muslim Brotherhood is known for such “rumor balloons” to read public opinion regarding possible decisions. The source added that the Brotherhood aims at changing the army from within, which is difficult with Sisi at the helm.        

On a different note, Al-Ahram reports that that in Port Said, factories and schools are closed and the city demands a presidential apology for the killings in the city over the past month. The government mouthpiece writes that on the second day of civil disobedience, al-Masry Ultras, in addition to the victims' families and some school students stopped employees from entering the free zone, leading to 28 factories being idle and LE18 millions in loss. Sources stated that workers coming from Daqahliya and Ismailia could not get to their places of work after the Ultras closed the way to Raswa Customs Port to force the factories owners to join the civil disobedience.  

Al-Ahram adds that protesters roamed around the city forcing people to return home. Protesters demand the rights of the martyrs that fell in the city in the clashes on the revolution anniversary and following the verdicts in relation to the football massacre last year. They also demand an official apology from the presidency.  Port Said Governor Ahmed Abdallah declared that the social insurance minister has granted LE5,000 for each victim, in addition to LE1,000 from Port Said investors.

Al-Shorouk writes that the president’s legal advisor Mohamed Fouad Gadallah stated yesterday that Port Said's victims are considered martyrs, apart from the “criminals.” He added that those who committed assaults against public facilities, buildings or security forces cannot be considered martyrs. In an attempt to alleviate the tension in the city, Gadallah stated that Port Said will return to being a well-cared for free zone and that the necessary legal and the procedural steps would be taken. The advisor said that this would address the grievances behind the civil disobedience.  

The Freedom and Justice newspaper writes describes events in the city as, “A fake civil disobedience.” The mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood states that the call for civil disobedience in Port Said received a weak response from the Green Eagles (al-Masry Ultras). Leftist forces tried to stop work in schools and vital institutes the paper said, but that these efforts did not bear fruit. Limited marches roamed around Port Said and leftist forces tried to empty certain government buildings of its employees in an attempt to get government attention.

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

Al-Sabah: 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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