Thursday’s papers point to a new episode in the long-standing power struggle between the presidency and the judiciary, which had been dormant for the past few months.
Independent Al-Shorouk newspaper reports that an appeals court has overturned the president’s appointment of the current Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah in November.
The paper cites the head of the prosecutor’s office Hassan Yassin who responded to the verdict saying that it cannot be executed, and affirmed that Abdallah will continue fulfilling the obligations of his position as usual until the verdict is appealed.
Meanwhile, the head of the judges’ club, which was at the forefront of the judiciary’s battled with the presidency told the paper that the general prosecutor should leave his post and thereby preserve his standing among judges. He added that an appeal from him would be met with an appeal from the judges’ club requesting the annulment of all the prosecutor’s decisions.
Amidst confusion as to whether the verdict will lead to the return of the former Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, Mahmoud told Al-Shorouk that he is currently studying the verdict before determining his next move.
The Freedom and Justice paper representing the ruling Muslim Brotherhood led its Thursday issue with legal opinions asserting that the ruling does not imply the return of Mahmoud.
The paper reports that legal experts have said that the ruling is not final and that the appeal could reverse the decision because it doesn’t correspond to the constitution, which makes constitutional decrees immune.
The paper states that, having been appointed by constitutional decree, Abdallah’s position is protected by the recently passed Constitution.
Al Sabah opposition newspaper further highlights the legal confusion surrounding the interpretation of the verdict.
While some experts told the paper that the presidency and the Ministry of Justice are the ones who have the right to appeal the verdict, former judge with the Supreme Constitutional Court Tahani al-Gebali told the paper that it is not possible to appeal the verdict. Rather, it would be up to the Supreme Judiciary Council to do so, she said. However, Yassin, head of the current prosecutor’s office told the paper that the state lawsuits authority is the only body capable of appealing the ruling and that there are many loopholes that the appeal will utilize.
Despite the legal uncertainties, Al-Watan newspaper reports that judges and the prosecution celebrated the verdict against Abdallah. The Justice Ministry’s deputy Hisham Raouf made contradictory comments to the paper, saying that the position of prosecutor general is now vacant, but also saying that the execution of the verdict is suspended and that Abdallah would remain in his post.
In other news, Al-Watan reported on statements made by Al-Wasat Party President Aboul Ela Mady accusing the intelligence of heading an organization of 3,000 thugs it employs to incite violence in protests has attracted the attention of the papers.
Head of intelligence Mourad Mowafy declined to comment telling Al-Watan that he distances himself from politics.
Papers continue to comment sarcastically on the president’s offbeat comments that have been surfacing throughout the last week. In response to those who claim that Egypt is falling apart, Morsy replied with an Egyptian saying that roughly translates to “I hope you fall.” His comment, which used a kind of slang uncommon for presidents, was featured on front pages for the second day.
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