Egypt's Wednesday's papers: 'Yes' vs. 'No'

News article, posted 12.12.2012, from Egypt, in:
Mai Shams El-Din

Scenes of streets full of protesters supporting or denouncing President Mohamed Morsy's decisions have become the daily routine over the past 10 days and Wednesday's papers continue to cover the unrest.

State-owned Al-Ahram's front page shows two photos of different protests highlighting the “show of force” between the two sides ahead of Saturday's referendum on the constitution. Islamist forces are campaigning for a “yes” vote, while opposition forces are divided; some want to go to the polls to vote against the contentious charter, while others are pushing for a boycott.

The state's flagship paper refers Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's invitation for a power lunch with Morsy, opposition figures and members of the Freedom and Justice Party. The paper decribes the meeting as a call for national solidarity.

Al-Ahram quotes Assistant Minister of Defense Mohamed al-Assar as saying that the meeting will take place in the context of “the united Egyptian family,” and insisting it is not intended as a political dialogue. He also dismisses the possibility the military is intervening in politics.

State-owned Al-Akhbar employs a more dramatic headline, asking people to “have mercy on Egypt,” while reporting on clashes between protesters and unknown assailants in Tahrir Square and violence at presidential palace demonstrations. The paper runs a photo showing security forces using barricades to prevent protesters from reaching the palace, another of protesters jumping over the walls and a third of protesters preventing citizens from entering the Mugamma in Tahrir Square.

“The clock of the referendum is ticking,” writes party paper Freedom and Justice, adding that judges should decide today whether or not they will oversee voting. Despite multiple announcements from judges that they would not participate in protest against the constitutional declaration, Freedom and Justice predicts more than 15,000 judges will ultimately relent.

In its referendum coverage, the Brotherhood-affiliated newspaper describes a presidential decree that bans voting outside one’s electoral district of residence as “the latest guarantee of transparency.”


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