Sunday’s papers: Suggestions for the way forward

Sunday’s papers focus on suggestions to accelerate the timeline of the transitional period as the results of the second round of the People’s Assembly elections are announced. The recent clashes between protesters and military forces which prompted these suggestions are also still in the forefront of media coverage, as attempts are made to analyze the events and provide updates on individuals arrested during them.

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper says the advisory council appointed by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is considering moving up Shura Council elections so they will end on 22 February instead of 11 March in order to shorten the transitional period.

Al-Dostour newspaper had another take on the advisory council’s suggestion, reporting it under the headline, “The military council demands the approval of the Islamists to move the presidential elections up.”

The story claims that the advisory council started discussing the possibility of holding presidential elections before the new constitution is drafted after the SCAF gave them the green light to alter the timeline of the transitional period if they can get the consent of Islamist political forces.

Al-Shorouk reports that the advisory council rejected calls from some recently-elected MPs and other public figures for power to be transferred to the speaker of parliament.

Al-Shorouk reports on another initiative suggested by 60 public figures, including Islamic scholar Kamal al-Helbawy and activist George Ishak, to hold a presidential nomination period between 25 January and 11 February 2012.

Following the announcement of the second round election results, Al-Shorouk paper runs a diagram showing the Islamic domination of the upcoming parliament.

Today’s papers contain many attempts to untangle the mystery of recent clashes in downtown Cairo that resulted in 17 deaths.

In a front page story titled “You pulled the trigger,” Al-Tahrir newspaper accuses the military of using the live ammunition based on forensic doctors reports that the dead were shot from distance, ruling out the possibility that they were shot by fellow protesters, as had previously been suggested.

In Al-Shorouk, the former head of forensics is quoted saying that the shooting in front of the cabinet building was “aimed to kill.”

On its front page, Al-Shorouk also reveals that some of those who appeared on state television confessing to having been paid to instigate violence during the cabinet clashes are suspects in other, unrelated cases, according to their lawyers.

Al-Tahrir personalizes recent events, publishing pictures and information about the 17 victims of the clashes. The newspaper reports about one of the injured, Hend Nafe, who reportedly yelled at the Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi when he visited her in her hospital room and asked him to leave.

Al-Tahrir says that Nafe, a university professor, is one of nine girls who were severely tortured and sexually assaulted by military forces last week. They were referred to state prosecution for charges of vandalism and assault and denied necessary medical care for 16 hours.

In an interesting column in Al-Shorouk, Mohamed al-Menshawy says that the cabinet events are the real end of the state created in 1952. Menshawy says that even after the fall of Mubarak, the legitimacy of the free officers 1952 coup is what sustained the military rulers of the country. Menshawy says that the recent violence unleashed by soldiers against protesters cost the military establishment this legitimacy, and marking the beginning of a second state — the state of the 25 January revolution.

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