Tuesday’s papers: Shura council elections kick off

Every newspaper leads with news about the Israeli attack on a flotilla organized by Free Gaza Movement in which up to 19 international activists were killed and around 50 injured. Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar report that President Hosni Mubarak voiced his disapproval of the incident and asserts that peace with Palestine is the only way to end Gazan suffering.

Political activists and parliament members held protests yesterday in front of the Journalists Syndicate, according to Al-Wafd. Protesters called for the release of parliament members Mohamed Beltagi and Hazem Farouk who were part of the convoy and are currently being detained in Israel. They also called for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, the closing Israeli embassy, an end to gas exports to Israel, and the opening of the Rafah border crossing for Palestinians. Protesters also threatened to hold a sit-in in front of the Israeli embassy.

Today also marks the start of Shura Council elections. Results are expected tomorrow, according to Al-Ahram. The ruling National Democratic Party intends to win the election, describing it as a rehearsal for People’s Assembly elections in October and subsequently the 2011 presidential election, Al-Wafd reports. Rose el-Youssef reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to have a strong showing due to yesterday’s events off the coast of Gaza, which helped to rally Egyptians around the Islamist group, particularly because two Brotherhood members were part of the flotilla.

State-owned newspapers also continue their coverage of the 25th Africa-France Summit, which is being held in the Riviera city of Nice. Al-Ahram quotes President Mubarak as saying, “We are looking forward to our international partners fulfilling their promises to Africa.” The paper also quotes French President Nicolas Sarkozy as saying, “Dear Mubark, I’m so glad you are here with us today in good health to hear you.”

Egypt’s newspapers:
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt
: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size
: Daily, state-run
Rose el-Youssef:
 Daily, state-run, close to the National Democratic Party’s Policies Secretariat
 Daily, privately owned
Daily, privately owned
 Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party
 Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party
 Weekly, privately owned
Sawt el-Umma:
 Weekly, privately owned

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