- Life Style
As most of Tuesday’s papers focus on the resolution of the crisis between Parliament and the Cabinet and a soon-to-be-reached agreement on the disputed Constituent Assembly formation, only state papers have enough inside information to report on an even bigger crisis that started too late last night for most papers to include.
As reported by state-run Al-Ahram, the Presidential Elections Commission threatened to suspend its activities following a parliamentary session in which the Presidential Elections Law was discussed and the general assembly voted in favor of amending it. A suspension of activities would inevitably mean the postponement of the presidential election scheduled to take place in two weeks.
According to the paper, the judges on the committee considered some of the MPs’ comments insulting and issued a harshly worded statement last night objecting to the MPs’ behavior and canceling a meeting they had scheduled with the presidential candidates.
After months of boycotting meetings with Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri and insisting on the sacking of the Cabinet, a Freedom and Justice Party MP attended a meeting with Ganzouri yesterday, an early sign that a resolution has been reached.
In independent Al-Tahrir newspaper, Local Development Minister Mohamed Ahmed Attiya confirmed what People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny announced following his meeting with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces: that the current Cabinet will be considered a caretaker government until a new one is formed following the presidential election. Attiya told the paper that he would not make any new decisions in his ministry because the Cabinet “is on its way out.”
Regarding the new formation of the assembly tasked with drafting the constitution, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ruling to form the new assembly entirely from outside Parliament. The ruling can still be appealed in a different court. A previous court ruling dismantled the previous Constituent Assembly, which had been dominated by Islamists.
The Freedom and Justice Party newspaper announces that the Constituent Assembly controversy is about to be resolved. The paper says Parliament would issue a law on the standards of the Constituent Assembly makeup within hours and would announce a meeting between both houses of Parliament within days to finalize the new standards.
Yet contrary to the still-in-effect court ruling that all assembly members should come from outside Parliament, the paper quotes MP Essam al-Erian as saying that the new 100-member assembly would include 30 to 40 MPs.
As it becomes clearer that Parliament will not be able to draft a constitution before the presidential election, alternative scenarios are being presented.
SCAF member Mamdouh Shahin said, as reported by independent Al-Dostour newspaper, that the two options being studied by the military council are either reviving the 1971 Constitution or issuing a supplementary constitutional declaration to determine the powers of the president prior to the election.
Promising to be the next major debate in the days leading up to the election, politicians weighed in with their view of both options.
Under the headline, “The old constitution or a new Constitutional Assembly: A new headache that hits the nation,” Al-Shorouk newspaper asks politicians about their preferences.
While the Egyptian Social Democratic Party’s Mohamed Abul Ghar and Wafd Party’s Yasser Hassan support the revival of 1971 Constitution with some amendments to decrease the president’s powers, Freedom and Justice Party MP Saad Emara prefers a supplementary constitutional declaration, saying that reviving the old constitution would diminish the powers of Parliament.
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