The verdict and thereafter
Doaa El-Bey follows the ramifications of Mubarak's trial
The verdict passed on the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and the interior minister and his aides was the main issue that engaged the press this week. Writers questioned its impact on the run- off of the presidential elections and on the future of Egypt in general.
Al-Youm Al-Sabei website on Tuesday wrote 'Mursi, Sabahi and Abul-Fotouh to take part in today's million-man march dubbed justice', and Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday had 'Mutual accusations between Shafik and Mursi'.
In reaction to the verdict, Al-Ahram on Monday noted in its banner that there are marches by two million demonstrators led by former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabahi and Abdel-Moneim Abul- Fotouh heading to Tahrir Square and protests in various governorates. Al-Wafd banner on Monday had 'Egyptian expatriates vote for martyrs rather than for Mursi or Shafik'.
Al-Akhbar which published a special issue on the trial on Sunday said 'The street is infuriated: acquitting El-Adli's aides and expiry date of the case against Mubarak's sons overshadow sentences of El-Adli and Mubarak'.
Emadeddin Hussein questioned in the independent daily Al-Shorouk whether the verdict is part of a long soap opera or a clip from a scenario that is being accurately implemented on the ground.
While Hussein emphasised he is not questioning the integrity of the judge who issued the verdict, he focussed on who prepared and presented the documents of the case to the judge. "They tried to arrange things in a certain order to produce desired results."
Hussein did not expect the verdict to have an effect on the results of the run-off because Shafik supporters -- who think the verdict is too harsh -- would be more adamant to elect him in the second round. In the meantime, part of the revolutionary forces would vote for Mursi as a result of the verdict.
The important question that Hussein raised was what the protesters are supposed to do now. In brief, he responded, the matter depends on how capable they are of recruiting millions again and re-taking the initiative into their own hands.
Ahmed Sayed Ahmed wrote the results of the first round together with the verdict clearly show that the genuine battle is between the revolution and the old regime or between two systems, each of which has its own values and followers.
The main objectives of the revolution, Ahmed explained, are not changing persons but building a new system of values based on equal rights for all citizens, creating standards for efficiency, working hard, rooting genuine democracy and rotation of power.
However, in order for that set of values to succeed, he added, it should replace the corrupt system of values that ruled Egypt for decades and was based on monopoly, favouritism, bribery and marginalising efficient people.
"That old system which survived as a result of a coalition between the corrupt regime and its ruling party on the one hand and corrupt businessmen and media on the other led to a deterioration in the economy, freezing the Egyptian mind and paving the ground for the eruption of the revolution."
But in order for the new system to survive and succeed, Ahmed added, it should have supporters that believe in that system and possess the mechanisms to achieve it.
That system was impeded by the absence of a leader for the revolution and the conflict which erupted among the various revolutionary coalitions. As a result, supporters of the old system were able to unite their ranks and used all the means to tarnish the revolution. The success of Ahmed Shafik in the first round is one sign of their success and a blow to the revolution.
"The danger of the present situation lies not only in the possibility that members of the old regime would come to power or the continuing division among revolutionary coalitions, but in its effect on the future of the revolution and of Egypt as a whole as well," Ahmed wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram.
Amid the polarisation society is witnessing on different levels, the writer called on each and every national trend to hold a dialogue and try to reach a consensus.
If we are between two difficult options, the ball is now in Mursi's court, Ahmed concluded his argument. He should clearly declare his commitment to a civil state, and abide by the "pledge document" that the various political powers signed. He should clearly show people that he would be the president of all Egyptians.
Abla El-Ruweini, who said he was still in shock from the results of the elections, described Egypt as the mother of wonders: democracy which we yearned for usurped all our hopes for change by failing to produce those who can make change.
"The run-off between Shafik and Mursi brought back all old ways of thinking. It took us a few steps backward," El-Ruweini wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar.
Shafik landed on the political scene, she explained, without prior notice, programme or even a history to support him. "His main achievements throughout the last year have been the pullover, the sweets he offered to distribute to the protesters in major squares and the white horse. Thus, how can we select him?" she asked.
The other option is even worse, according to El-Ruweini, "because he will not rule us single-handedly, but with the aid of his group which has a long history of manoeuvres and treason."
The only way out El-Ruweini could find is to postpone her dreams for four years until the next presidential elections.
She concluded by emphasising that she would not take part in the "catastrophic" run-off.
Wagdi Zeineddin wrote that there are various legal means to oppose a verdict and they do not include spreading disorder in the country.
"If we are after a modern democratic state we should first learn to respect the law. If anyone wants to oppose a verdict that should be done via legal channels," Zeineddin wrote in Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the opposition Wafd Party.
Zeineddin criticised Mursi because he called on people to disrespect the law by asking them to join his group in the protests in big squares in various places in the country. Doesn't this call contradict with his other calls for stability? Zeineddin wondered.
He added that he expected from Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood to call on the people to respect the law and follow legal channels if they have any reservations about the verdict issued against Mubarak. He described Mursi's action as cheap election propaganda.
Mohamed Fouda was amazed by the reaction to the verdict which he described as irresponsible.
"We are supposed to respect the members and the verdicts of the judiciary. Even if we want to contest a verdict, this should be done through the court," Fouda wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.
The verdict, he added, is an embodiment of the application of law and justice and an end to the longest and most dangerous trial which was dubbed the trial of the century by the media.
Thus, Fouda called on those who are not happy with the verdict to stop escalating and act in a wise way, adding the general prosecution is looking into the verdict and considering an appeal.