Thursday’s papers: Brotherhood considers joining presidential race

Reports that the Muslim Brotherhood may field a presidential candidate in the upcoming race carries headlines after the death of Pope Shenouda III dominated news over the last few days.

State-run paper Al-Ahram leads with the story that the Brotherhood is considering nominating one of its own members for the election, to be held on 23 and 24 May. The Brotherhood had previously said it would endorse someone on the condition that the presidential hopeful has an Islamic background.

The group’s Shura Council will meet on Friday to discuss its participation in the election, Al-Ahram reports.

Independent Al-Dostour writes about cabinet ministers’ absence from Wednesday’s People’s Assembly session, provoking the anger of many members of Parliament. The paper says Saad al-Katatny, the assembly’s speaker, threatened to withdraw confidence from Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri’s government in response.

The session was first adjourned for half an hour awaiting ministers allegedly stuck in a traffic jam after a meeting at the Investment Authority, privately owned Youm7 reports. However, Katatany ended the session at the demand of various MPs after the ministers failed to show up.

Youm7 also reports that Israel cleared out its former embassy in Giza on Wednesday morning and shipped its contents back to Tel Aviv on board two military aircrafts.

Last September, protesters stormed the embassy in protest of the accidental killing of six Egyptian soldiers on the border a month earlier by Israeli military forces. The incident forced Israeli diplomats to evacuate the embassy.

Youm7 quotes a senior Israeli government source as saying, “Both countries are now discussing the new location of Israeli Embassy, which will be announced shortly.”

State-owned Al-Akhbar newspaper states that hundreds of public transportation workers moved protests to the cabinet building on Wednesday and called on Ganzouri to meet their demands.

Workers want the Public Transportation Authority be affiliated with the Transportation Ministry and increase state pension lengths from five to 100 months.

The four-day strike, which includes workers from the authority’s 28 garages across the capital, unofficially began last Sunday, pulling buses from the streets.

Al-Dostour reports on Egypt’s escalating petroleum crisis at the bottom of its front page, accompanied by a photo of citizens packed in front of a petrol station. The independent paper says the crisis is causing traffic congestion nationwide and provoking quarrels between microbus drivers and customers over fare hikes.

The report adds that some citizens blocked a major road in Minya Governorate in protest of the shortage.

Fathy Abdel Aziz, a senior official at the Solidarity and Domestic Trade Ministry, told the independent paper that he asked the supply director in Minya to accelerate the process of distributing petroleum to end the crisis in the governorate.

Independent paper Al-Tahrir reports that Freedom and Justice Party and Nour Party MPs held a secret meeting on Wednesday to select 75 nominees for membership in the 100-person constituent assembly that will draft the new constitution.

Constituent assembly members will be appointed Saturday by the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council.

A parliamentary source told Al-Tahrir on condition of anonymity that Islamist movements will not nominate Mohamed ElBaradei, Mostafa al-Naggar or Alaa Al Aswany, but agreed to support Amr Hamzawy and Amr al-Shobaki for the body.

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-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

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