Egypt Independent

Sunday’s papers: Morsy supporters fill the streets

Sunday’s front pages report on the large pro-Mohamed Morsy

protests staged Saturday, as opposition voices in Tahrir Square and elsewhere spoke out against the 22 November constitutional declaration issued by Morsy and the draft constitution that he put to a referendum scheduled for 15 December.

The Freedom and Justice Party’s daily celebrates the large pro-Morsy rally. With the headline “A real million-man march,” the paper insinuates that the rally outnumbered the Tahrir protests against Morsy held on Tuesday and Friday.

In anticipation of a potential judicial boycott of the constitutional referendum, the paper interviews judge Mahmoud Abul Gheit, a member of the pro-Morsy judicial group “Judges for Egypt,” calling the boycott an abandonment of a national duty.

The independent Al-Tahrir newspaper downplays the pro-Morsy protests and focuses on the continued judicial uprising against the constitutional declaration issued last week by Morsy, giving his decisions immunity from judicial oversight.

The paper’s front-page headline reads, “The judges tell Morsy: We will not back down.”

The paper reports on the continued strikes and sit-ins staged by judges all over the country, and reports plans to boycott the constitutional referendum.

The independent paper Al-Sabah frames the pro-Morsy rally as a Brotherhood matter, where the members supported the leader. The paper headlines its coverage “The obedient million-man march; the base pledges allegiance to the president.”

Al-Akhbar, the state newspaper, saw the large support protests as a safeguard for the constitution that Morsy put to a referendum scheduled for 15 December.

The paper headlines its front page: “Brotherhood million-man march protects the constitution.”

The paper reports that the sit-in in Tahrir Square entered its fifth day, as those opposing Morsy’s declaration and the draft constitution vowed to escalate. The paper reports that the opposition will escalate its protest with a media blackout on Tuesday, followed by an open-ended sit-in at the presidential palace.

The paper explores if judges would boycott the constitutional referendum. Some judges said judicial supervision could be replaced by administrative prosecution members, lawyers and teachers, while others said judicial supervision is necessary and that the referendum would be void without it.

Some said the president could solve this problem by issuing a constitutional declaration ahead of the referendum, appointing another sector to supervise the polls.

Regarding the ongoing judicial crisis, Judge Mostafa Abu Zeid tells Al-Akhbar the law doesn’t give judges the right to strike, and that those who suspend work in their courts will have to surrender their pay.

The papers anticipated a heated day at the Supreme Constitutional Court, which was expected to rule on two cases threatening to dismantle the Shura Council and the Constituent Assembly. The 22 November constitutional declaration protected both bodies from being disbanded.

However, the court canceled the Sunday session after Morsy supporters surrounded the building and prevented SCC judges from entering.

Following the support rally in Giza and the protest against Morsy in Tahrir Square, presidential adviser Bassam al-Zarqa told independent daily Al-Shorouk he expects street politics to become obsolete once the country reaches a point of stability with well-grounded institutions.

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