Egypt Independent

Monday’s papers: Second African summit adjourns while Al-Dostour fallout persists



On Monday 11 October, Egypt's state-owned newspapers focus much of their front-page coverage on the closure of the second Arab-African Summit in Libya. The first such summit was held in Egypt in 1977.

Al-Akhbar's largest front-page headlines reads “The president inaugurates the second Arab-African summit in Sirte, handing over its presidency to Qadhafi” and “Mubarak calls for Arab-African partnership with an action plan and executive mechanisms.” Al-Ahram's top headline reads “Egypt calls on the revival of Arab-African cooperative institutions” while its sub-headline states “Mubarak warns against discord amongst Arabs and Africans on the basis of ethnicity.”

With regards to elections and campaign coverage, the top headline on the front-page of the liberal opposition paper Al-Wafd reads “Lifting the parliamentary immunity of seven MPs from ruling party in the Shura Council in cases related to fraud, and checks without credit/balance.” The sub-header postulates “The National Democratic Party shrouds these cases in secrecy fearing a loss of its popularity in parliamentary elections.” “1,500 NDP members to partake in elections as independents” is yet another headline. The accompanying article claims these 1,500 non-elected party cadres will compete against previously elected party members.

Al-Shorouk newspaper leads with “The National Democratic Party launches electoral campaign to save its internal party elections from failure.” The sub-headline reads “Low turn-out during the first days of elections for parliamentary candidacies.” The chief headline on the front-page of the independent weekly Al-Osboa asks “Why has the Muslim Brotherhood decided to participate in the elections?” Another headline reads Prime Minister “Nazif (Bey)…Tomatoes cost 15 pounds per kilo.”

Al-Shorouk also runs this headline: “Minister of agriculture pledges that the cost of vegetables will decrease within two weeks.” In Al-Akhbar, a similar headline reads “At the responsibility of the minister of agriculture: Reduction in cost of vegetables and fruits within the upcoming weeks.” In the Al-Akhbar article, the Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza blames the rising cost of vegetables–specifically tomatoes–on retailers who are reportedly hiking prices in light of the scarcity of the available vegetables in an effort to increase their profits.

Regarding the ongoing crisis within the independent Al-Dostour newspaper organization revolving around the sacking of its Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Eissa, Al-Akhbar's small front-page headline states “Al-Badawi sells his share in Al-Dostour to Reda Edward.” This article says, as a result of the move, Edward is now the largest shareholder of this embattled paper.

In Al-Osboa a chief front-page headline reads “Al-Dostour: Who's responsible?” In the article, the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Osboa Mustafa Bakri questions “how is it that this newspaper now issues only one edition per day, a tasteless and colorless paper struggling to find a chief editor, or even a temporary caretaker administration?” However, Bakri discredits Ibrahim Eissa's claims that he was sacked by Badawi in order to silence his critical voice–which often targeted Egypt's ruling regime and its president. Bakri claims that Eissa was sacked by the Wafd Party leader despite the fact that he had “raised his monthly salary from LE 25,000 to LE 75,000.” According to Bakri, Eissa refused to pay increased taxes on his newly raised salary. Moreover, he says Eissa's claim about his dismissal is a conspiracy theory.

Al-Wafd provides no coverage of these controversial developments. Al-Dostour newspaper was unavailable on most newsstands around Cairo.

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-Gomhorriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run, close to the National Democratic Party's Policies Secretariat

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party

Youm7: Weekly, privately owned

Sawt el-Umma: Weekly, privately owned