Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1131, 17 - 23 January
Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Issue 1131, 17 - 23 January

Ahram Weekly

Minister makes a bet

Doaa El-Bey writes on the upcoming second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution and Rasha Saad on what the rise of political Islam means for the region

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Al-Ahram Weekly

All eyes are on the newly appointed interior minister and his coming challenge on 25 January, the second anniversary of the revolution. Al-Ahram on Monday quoted Mohamed Ibrahim as saying that he will personally supervise and safeguard protests on 25 January and Al-Youm Al-Sabei quoted him as saying that if he fails in that mission he will stay home.

Farouk Guweida focussed on the problem of peddlers who have occupied downtown Cairo, another challenge facing the minister and Ministry of Interior.

Thousands of peddlers, Guweida explained, have crowded in main streets in addition to their traditional place in Wekalet Al-Balah. Some took their goods to the Nile Corniche and set up makeshift cafes there.

Whenever the police step in and remove the peddlers, they return. “Will the cat and mouse game continue between the police and the peddlers or will the governorate be able to resolve the problem for good?” Guweida wondered in Al-Ahram.

He suggested establishing open markets that can provide a source of income for peddlers, leave room for cars and pedestrians to move in downtown Cairo and give the police enough authorisation to stop acts of thuggery which has spread in the last few months.

Al-Watan banner on Monday described the retrial of Mubarak as ‘Mubarak ghost reappears’. In reaction to the verdict, Al-Ahram on Monday noted in its banner: ‘Egyptian expatriates voted for martyrs rather than Morsi or Shafik’.

The conflict between the army and Al-Shura Council was reflected in Sunday’s Al-Masry Al-Youm which quoted the army saying that those who escaped military service would not become future MPs.

Adel Al-Sanhouri warned that the ‘Brotherhood cell’ in the UAE is the secret word that reveals other dormant Brotherhood cells in the Gulf states.

The accurate information, Al-Sanhouri added, that the UAE disclosed reflected a strong conviction among the Gulf states that the Brotherhood sees an opportunity to export their revolution and repeat what happened in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen in the Gulf.

Thus, the blunder in administering Egypt’s relation with the Gulf states puts Egypt in a difficult situation regarding its relation with the Gulf.

To resolve the current deterioration in relations, Al-Sanhouri suggested that the MB needs to adopt a different vision and to distance itself from rashness and political adolescence in dealing with the Gulf.

“Morsi is required to remove land mines on the road to good Egyptian-UAE relations and Egyptian-Gulf relations. He also needs to set a date for a tour of the Gulf states in order to fix what the MB spoiled,” Al-Sanhouri wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.

Suleiman Gouda asked who Essam Al-Haddad was and what are the qualifications that allowed Al-Haddad, who is a presidential aide, to establish another foreign ministry.

The persons who occupied similar — though not identical — positions under presidents Sadat and Mubarak, the writer added, were known for their experience in external affairs.

The history of Hazez Ismail and Boutros Ghali were widely known before they took up their positions under Sadat. Likewise, Osama Al-Baz was very famous for his experience in external affairs before he assumed the post of head of the president’s office for external affair under Mubarak.

Gouda believed that his question acquired more importance given the fact that Al-Haddad failed in his two missions since he assumed his position: arranging for President Morsi’s visit to the US late last year and in which Washington stated that a meeting with President Obama was postponed indefinitely.

Al-Haddad also failed in securing the release of Egyptians detained in the UAE.

Thus the writer concluded in his regular column the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm by wondering who is Essam Al-Haddad and why was he selected for the post.

Salah Hasaballah laid a wager on the National Salvation Front (NSF). He wrote that one of the benefits of the referendum on the constitution was to unify the civil current under the umbrella of the NSF.

Thus, he added, in spite of the flagrant violations in the referendum and the result that showed that 36 per cent of those who were able to take part in it did not approve the constitution, the NSF has a historic chance to win the majority of seats in the next parliament.

However, Hasaballah elaborated, it needs to pay attention to a few points, namely that they should target the voters who did not take part in the referendum because they did not show any interest in the Islamic current. In the meantime, they did not listen to calls from the civil current to reject the constitution.

Hasaballah added the NSF should make use in the diversity of its leaders, from Amr Moussa who is known for his political astuteness and moderate discourse to Hamdeen Sabahi who is popular for his revolutionary discourse to Mohamed Al-Baradei who is liked for his transparency.

However, the question Hasaballah raised at the end of his column in the independent daily Al-Watan was whether the NSF would stay united. He expressed his wish that it will “for the sake of Egypt and the simple citizen”.

Wagdi Zeineddin underlined the deterioration of the Egyptian pound. He wrote that the economy was passing through one of the most difficult if not the most critical of phases: inflation is on the rise, the pound is falling, prices are soaring and exporting and importing have nearly stopped.

Thus, Egypt is living in a state of suffering under the ruling group which is not showing any signs of concern.

“Egyptians have fallen under the hammer of an ailing economy and MB rule which is indifferent to anything except its full hegemony of the state regardless of the suffering of the people,” Zeineddin wrote in Al-Wafd.

He ruled out that newly appointed Governor of the Central Bank Hisham Ramez has magical solutions to the deterioration of the pound and the hike in prices as long as security and stability are absent and as long as the MB are governing. Thus Zeineddin expected that the worst is yet to come.

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