Tuesday’s papers: The fate of the Constituent Assembly

The one story that dominates headlines is obvious. Tuesday, a court will rule on the legality of the Constituent Assembly and whether it should be dissolved. In the court’s ruling lies the fate of Egypt’s future constitution and throws up a myriad of scenarios over what comes next.

The independent daily Al-Shorouk states that there are three possible scenarios, and the least likely of which is that the constituent assembly remains as it is.  The most likely scenario is that the administrative court dissolves the assembly, meaning that it needs to be reassembled by President Mohamed Morsy in the absence of parliament.

The third scenario, which may come as a surprise, according to the newspaper, is that the administrative court refers the case to Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional court, which, the daily argues, would create another face-off between the Brotherhood and the supreme court after it had dissolved the Islamist-dominated Parliament.

The privately owned Al-Watan newspaper seems a bit more pleased about the whole event, and isn’t waiting for the court to rule, judging by it’s front page. It states that the assembly is “crumbling,” with half of its members threatening to resign, while opposition forces demand that Morsy put an end to its work ahead of the verdict. The newspaper that states that liberals and Salafis are both opposed to the working draft that the assembly has released, for wildly different reasons. Liberals see it as too stringent and Salafis see it as not stringent enough.

Al-Tahrir, another privately owned newspaper, is predicting that the court will dissolve the assembly, claiming that there are enough legal grounds for its annulment. The newspaper adds that there are 48 complaints against the assembly being headed by Judge Hossam Gheriany alone, and predicts that the legal minefields surrounding the assembly will mean its doom.

Al-Tahrir also reports that women’s groups and The Mothers of the Revolution’s Martyrs, an advocacy group, have released a statement objecting to the status of women in the draft constitution. “We are an irrevocable force,” the statement reads, “[and] fighting to receive our rights as one half of society.” The objections stem from the inequality of the status of women in the constitution and the vagueness of the language used in general, which makes it more of a literary work than a binding legal document.

So, while it’s not looking good for the constitution anywhere in Tuesday’s papers, it’s up to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice newspaper to unsurprisingly fight in the assembly’s corner. Besides mentioning that there are counter-claims made by members of the Brotherhood yet to be accepted by the court, it also gives a glowing review of the revised version of the draft, saying there is enough “difference” between it and the earlier version to make it palatable to non-Islamist forces. Of course, the paper doesn’t explicitly say any of this, but the gist of the paper remains mindful of the opposition to the draft document the assembly has come up with.

While this is all going on, state-owned Al-Ahram saw fit to bump the fate of the Constituent Assembly a little further down the front page, choosing to lead with Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s visit to Algeria and how it will “open a new page in relations between the two countries,” a headline that has been used countless times on the front page of that newspaper.

On the Constituent Assembly, the newspaper reports — like Al-Watan — that the assembly is imploding ahead of the court’s ruling, with liberals in arms and Salafis threatening to withdraw. Al-Ahram reports that many of the members are angry at the “Phrasing Committee” which is seemingly confusing the articles with its flowery and ambiguous choice of language.

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

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

Related Articles

Back to top button