Egypt Independent

Wednesday’s papers: Mubarak’s health deteriorates

Independent Al-Shorouk newspaper writes on its front page this morning, “Field marshal meets with political forces in a ‘Muslim Brotherhood-free’ meeting.”

MP Mostafa Bakry declared yesterday during a press conference at the Defense Ministry that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has given a 48-hour chance to all political parties to agree on the general membership guidelines for the assembly tasked with forming a constitution. If there is disagreement, a constitutional declaration would be revealed to alter Article 60, which deals with the formation of the assembly, according to Al-Shorouk.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, in addition to the Ghad al-Thawra, Wasat and the Democratic Egyptian parties, did not attend the meeting, Al-Shorouk writes. The newspaper adds that the new constitutional declaration would determine the terms of reference for the coming president and the powers of the People’s Assembly.

The MP adds that the idea of a presidential council that would comprise several former presidential hopefuls was discussed and refuted because of its unlawfulness. The idea originated from revolutionary groups who see former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq’s candidacy as a return to the former regime, and to pair former candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh with Brotherhood nominee Mohamed Morsy in one council to rule the country.

Independent Al-Watan’s reporting on the subject is harsher, as it leads with, “SCAF warns Brotherhood: A Constituent Assembly, a constitutional declaration or the revival of the 1971 Constitution in 48 hours.” The newspaper states that the coming 48 hours are the Brotherhood’s chance to join other political forces and form the assembly.

During its meeting with representatives and heads of various political parties, SCAF also discussed demands raised by protesters in Tahrir Square, in addition to the latest happenings in the former president’s case, Al-Watan reports. SCAF head Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, SCAF member Sami Anan, 23 party representatives and some members of Parliament attended the meeting.

State-owned Al-Gomhurriya writes that elections will take place under any circumstances, according to Tantawi. The government mouthpiece also addresses the constitution-writing issue. At the end of the article, it hints at the absence of the Freedom and Justice Party, describing this as “questionable.”

Al-Shorouk writes that there is an 84-day window to grant Mubarak a pardon due to his bad health. A security source told Al-Shorouk that his wife’s visits to her husband in jail are illegal because no visits are allowed for convicted prisoners on the first 10 days of a sentence, even from the prisoners’ lawyers. The source adds that two medical teams supervise the health of the former president — one from the armed forces and one from the Interior Ministry, in addition to a team that guards the hospital.

Al-Watan writes on its front page, “Mubarak’s health deteriorates; medical source: he is skin on bone.” The newspaper adds that Tora prison has agreed to place Gamal Mubarak, one of the deposed president’s sons, in the same prison with his father because of his deteriorating health. General Medhat Hanafy, head of the Prison Service Investigation, states that the former president has requested that his sons be brought to Tora prison, but they have not yet been approved. Hanafy says that legally Mubarak cannot receive visitors for a month. The newspaper concludes that the Tora prison hospital is well-equipped and capable of providing the necessary medical care for the ousted president.

In contrast, Al-Gomhurriya writes that Mubarak’s conditions have deteriorated and that Gamal has called for help, requesting a medical team. The paper says Mubarak’s condition is severe and that he should be transferred to a well-equipped hospital. The paper concludes that the former president is likely to be transferred soon.

Muslim Brotherhood mouthpiece newspaper Freedom and Justice leads this morning with the headline “Morsy agrees to appoint a female vice president.” During his meeting with heads of the feminist movement, Morsy said women are equal to men regardless of what they do in life, and that women are first-degree citizens according to the law, the constitution and Islam. He says half of PhD holders are women and that they also constitute 25 percent of the public-sector workforce.

During his meeting with the families of the martyrs in Banha, Morsy promised to protect the revolution and commit himself to its demands. He added that after the success of the revolution, the members of the Mubarak regime are gathering to hinder the revolution’s success, according to Freedom and Justice.

The FJP writes on page two that People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny states that amending Article 60 in the constitution is an encroachment on Parliament’s authority. Katatny added during yesterday’s parliamentary session that Egyptians have regained their legislative authority through Parliament, and no constitutional declaration could deny that right. He says Parliament will not take it lightly.

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