Wednesday’s papers: Finger-pointing in Parliament

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ decision not to take legal action against MP Zyad Elelaimy receives coverage from both state-run and independent newspapers Wednesday.

Privately owned Al-Shorouk writes that the military council has sent a letter to the People’s Assembly pledging not to impose sanctions on Elelaimy for a comment that was perceived as offensive to SCAF head Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. The SCAF, however, is waiting for Parliament to deal with the MP, according to the paper.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party MP used a well-known Egyptian proverb at a rally in Port Said Friday: “He couldn’t beat the donkey so he beat the saddle.” Elelaimy referred to Tantawi as the donkey, implying he is responsible for the deaths of Egyptians in clashes and protests in recent weeks.

Though Elelaimy offered to apologize to Tantawi, the People’s Assembly refused to accept his offer and insisted on referring him to the body’s ethics committee.

Independent newspaper Al-Tahrir quotes Elelaimy’s response to the SCAF decision saying, “The issue has taken on far more importance than it deserves …  I wish the Parliament accelerates its actions for fulfilling people’s demands as fast as it takes procedures against me.”

Independent newspaper Youm7 leads with a story on the April 6 Youth Movement’s demand to refer MP Mostafa Bakry to the same ethics committee for defamation against it and former presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei.

In a recent parliamentary session, Bakry accused both the April 6 Youth Movement and ElBaradei of being agents of the United States. 

State-owned Al-Akhbar reports that Egyptian Bloc lawmakers are collecting signatures in support of ElBaradei to press Parliament to refer Bakry to the committee. Bakry says that he will present all the documents that prove his accusations, the paper writes.

Freedom and Justice, the daily mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party of the same name, publishes on its seventh page a detailed report sharply criticizing the role of the military-appointed government for its failure to solve escalating economic, security and foreign policy problems. The FJP believes dismissing Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri’s cabinet is the solution and calls for forming a new national unity cabinet, according to the paper.

Independent daily Al-Dostour publishes a story on the mostly student demonstrations launched from various universities across the country Tuesday. Thousands of students marched from Cairo University to the People’s Assembly calling for the military to cede power to civilian government, an acceleration of trials for officials involved in killing protesters during the uprising, the restructuring of the Interior and Information ministries, and the release of political prisoners.

In an interesting interview published in Al-Akhbar, MP Mohamed al-Sawy, who briefly served as the first culture minister after Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, expresses his opinions on Mubarak’s regime, the SCAF and some of the most crucial issues facing the country.

“I welcome the opportunity of taking office again, but do not wish to swear-in under the military rule,” reads the article’s headline. A subheadline highlights Sawy’s description of Mubarak’s regime as a “fly that won’t leave easily.”

Away from politics and parliamentary conflicts, Al-Ahram runs a short report at the bottom of its front page on the inauguration of the third phase of the metro line that extends from Attaba to Abbasseya. The new line serves around 300,000 commuters daily. Egypt’s flagship paper adds that the LE4 billion project is expected to save commuters time and relieve traffic congestion around the working class neighborhoods.

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-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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