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The news that Ghad al-Thawra Party leader Ayman Nour was pardoned on Wednesday by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi makes headlines in both state-run and independent newspapers on Thursday.
Last year, Nour lost an appeal to quash a forgery conviction for which he was imprisoned from 2005 to 2009, when he was released for health reasons. Because of this conviction, Nour has not been permitted to run for political office.
Al-Tahrir, a privately owned daily, leads with a headline in red text: “The return of Ayman Nour.” Nour, who ran against former President Hosni Mubarak in the 2005 presidential election, told Al-Tahrir that he would announce today whether he would run in the upcoming contest, slated to take place on 23 and 24 May.
The election of People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny as head of the constituent assembly also makes headlines.
Independent Al-Shorouk reports that the rift within the assembly continues to grow, with 25 members being absent from its first meeting in protest of Islamists’ domination of the body.
Al-Shorouk also publishes a short report on the hundreds of protesters who marched on Wednesday from Tahrir Square to the Parliament building, demanding that the constituent assembly be restructured to represent all segments of society. The protesters called for a million-strong protest this Friday across the country under the banner “Constitution for all Egyptians,” the paper adds.
Al-Tahrir makes light of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ support for the constituent assembly by publishing a picture of SCAF member Mamdouh Shahin choosing Katatny as the assembly’s speaker, under the sarcastic headline, “This is the military council to which opposition forces resort.”
The independent paper quotes Shahin as saying, “The assembly will not write the constitution’s articles secretly, but rather adopt different perspectives in negotiation sessions.”
Freedom and Justice, the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party of the same name, says the Brotherhood postponed deciding whether or not it would nominate one of its members to run for president until next Tuesday.
According to Saad Emara, a member of the group’s Shura Council, the Brotherhood needs more time to mull over the issue, as a result of the ongoing changes in the country’s political scene, the report says.
Both state-run Al-Ahram and Al-Shorouk run similar headlines quoting Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim as saying, “We can eliminate Tahrir’s bullies if political forces demand it,” during a press conference on Wednesday.
In its detailed report, Al-Shorouk quotes the interior minister as saying security has been restored: “I challenge that no one has been able to do what we have achieved from 7 December until now in past years.”
Independent daily Youm7 reports that an attack on Helwan University yesterday contradicts the minister’s words. The paper reports that this is not the first time the university has faced such attacks since the outbreak of the revolution.
In an interesting interview published in state-run Al-Akhbar newspaper, presidential hopeful and lawyer Mortada Mansour talked about the Muslim Brotherhood, being asked to defend Mubarak in court and some of the most critical issues facing the country.
Mansour allegedly refused to defend Mubarak, saying, “I want to express my opinion based on truth, not on my client’s money.”
He also harshly criticized the Brotherhood’s policies. “With all due respect to the Brotherhood, its failure was revealed after three months in the People’s Assembly, unlike the now-dissolved National Democratic Party, whose corruption and oppression was revealed after 30 years,” Mansour said.
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