Monday,23 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1124, 29 November - 5 December 2012
Monday,23 October, 2017
Issue 1124, 29 November - 5 December 2012

Ahram Weekly

Egyptian & Arab press

Doaa El-Bey and Gamal Nkrumah tackle the highly controversial decrees issued by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the perturbed sense of direction the Arab Spring has taken

Egyptian press
Egyptian press
Al-Ahram Weekly

President Mohamed Morsi’s latest decrees took all by surprise and led to the resignation of one of his aides and some consultants. More importantly it prompted protest marches and demonstrations in Tahrir Square and other sites across the country.
Newspapers drew a bleak picture of the repercussions of the declaration. Al-Masry Al-Youm said ‘First two martyrs under Morsi’ and Al-Watan stated that Egypt is a martyr “like martyrs Jika and Islam”.
Al-Youm Al-Sabei on Sunday had ‘The revolution continues’ and Al-Wafd quoted political powers as saying ‘no dialogue with the president until after annulling constitutional declaration’.
Alaa Abdel-Hadi asked who is responsible for the death of Islam and Jika who died as a result of the recent protests on the streets.
Jika, he wrote, is like the son of any Egyptian who was on the threshold of youth. He followed political events more than he followed his lessons in school. He liked Al-Baradei and hoped he would be the Egyptian president.
Like other youths, he was happy that Morsi won because he was against presidential contender Ahmed Shafik who would have punished all the protesters.
Sixteen-year-old Jika, he added, was one of these protesters who were after building a better future for their country. As a result, he protested against the latest decision in Mohamed Mahmoud Street and fell dead to a cowardly bullet.
As for Islam Fathi, Abdel-Hadi wrote, who is just 15, he was pushed into the merciless political life. He died in defence of one of the venues of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
“The blood of Jika and Islam is more precious than any political gain. They will go to heaven. But I’m afraid we could go to hell because we did not look after these buds,” Abdel-Hadi wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar.
Most writers who were deeply annoyed by the polarisation caused by the decrees agreed that the way out was in annulling them. Salah Montasser pointed to the fact that reneging on a presidential decision does not affect the status of the president. When the 18 and 19 January protests in 1977 erupted because of a rise in bread prices, President Sadat decided to renege on the decision, although increasing prices then was pivotal for reforming the economy. Likewise President Nasser annulled the March 1954 decisions when it was about to cause civil war.
Today, Montasser addressed President Morsi, the people are facing the danger of division over the Brotherhood and the non-Brotherhood and the confrontation could be catastrophic.
He added in the official daily Al-Ahram, “you behaved as a head of a group, not as a president, when you decided to deliver your speech to your group in front of the presidential palace rather than addressing the whole nation on national TV. Meanwhile, you left your opponents to gather in Tahrir and forced judges to take part in political life rather than staying in their courts to preserve justice.
He concluded by asking him to reconsider the constitutional decrees.
Abdel-Fattah Abdel-Moneim described the declaration as a crime that would create another pharaoh.
“I thought that after sacking Mubarak, we will never hear the phrase ‘pharaoh ruler’ and that any talk about cloning another Mubarak would be mere nonsense,” Abdel-Moneim wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.
But the crime of issuing that declaration brought to the minds the picture of Mubarak and his regime, he added. It was very clear in Morsi’s speech in front of Al-Ittihadiya presidential palace when he described his opponent as either thugs or fulul (remnants of the former regime).
While last Friday’s protest was the first alarm that reflected the size of the opposition to the declaration, Abdel-Moneim considered Tuesday’s one-million march as a second alarm to Morsi and his party.
Thus he called on President Morsi to annul the “scandalous” constitutional decrees, apologise to his people and promise that he would never resort to these political games which serve his group rather than the Egyptian people.
Wagdi Zeineddin was surprised that Morsi decided to deliver a speech in front of Al-Ittihadiya palace among his supporters. But he was more surprised that he ignored the majority of the Egyptians who protested in the big squares calling for the annulment of the declaration.
Morsi divided the street into two groups — either knowingly or unknowingly. Then, Zeineddin delivered his speech, the columnist added, among his supporters who were mobilised before the presidential palace even before issuing the declaration. Thus, the mobilisation process was pre-planned and aimed to terrorise the Egyptian people to accept the declaration.
“The constitutional declaration caused great strife among the people. The only way out is to annul it. It is not a shame to make a mistake, but it is a shame to insist on it,” Zeineddin wrote in the daily Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the opposition Wafd Party.
He said Morsi made two major mistakes in his speech. He accused the judiciary institution of corruption and described the protesters in Mohamed Mahmoud Street as hooligans.
He concluded his regular column by calling on Morsi to abandon his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and become a president for all the Egyptians.
Ezzat Al-Kamhawi regarded the constitutional decrees as a tool to immunise the MB and disband the nation. He wrote the president’s decisions differ in the degree of polarisation they cause but they all agree on their ability to cause amazement and raise one question — how did the MB manage to become an international organisation when it lacks political awareness and the basic political compromising?
The declaration, he explained, guaranteed the trial of those who killed the protesters, immunised the president’s decrees, the constituent assembly drawing up the constitution and the Shura Council. “If we accept that the re-trials would bring a different outcome and that the president’s decisions are in the interest of the country, what is the benefit of protecting the toothless Al-Shura Council?” the writer asked.
“If the president immunised all his decisions and gathered all the authorities, what is the job of the Shura Council? It is without a job like the consultants of the president,” Al-Kamhawi wrote in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
He summed up his argument by saying that the only clear outcome of the decrees is the sharp state of polarisation that has overwhelmed the Egyptian street and syndicates and shook one of the pillars of the state.

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