The attempts of Egypt’s new government to stabilize the country amid widespread violence leads Arab news on Sunday.
Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera reports that Mohamed ElBaradei has not yet been declared prime minister due to opposition from the Salafi Nour party and from the Muslim Brotherhood, which is adamant about accepting no other president than Mohammed Morsi. Spokesman Ahmad Al-Muslimani told the press Saturday night that a number of candidates for the position have been named, but ElBaradei remains the lead candidate.
The big Arab dailies, however, still believe ElBaradei is Egypt’s new prime minister.
“ElBaradei is prime minister, and the squares will be filled today,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat. The newspaper reports that Egyptian authorities have tightened their grip on the Muslim Brotherhood “in what seems to be a response to confrontations on the streets.”
The choice of ElBaradei as prime minister is intended to cement international support for the overthrowing of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Hayat comments.
Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports “tense calm” early Sunday morning, following a day of bloody clashes which led to the deaths of 37 people by Sunday.
The daily reports that according to the Egyptian prosecution general, the Muslim Brotherhood paid Syrians and Palestinians to shoot at anti-Morsi demonstrators. This information, claims the daily, “may increase the isolation of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Morsi belongs to.”
Meanwhile, Saudi news website Elaph reports that the Muslim Brotherhood may soon be disbanded in Egypt. Quoting “Egyptian sources,” the site reports that Social Affairs minister Nagwa Khalil inquired of her legal advisers whether the organization could be branded a military militia following reports that weapons were found in the Brotherhood’s headquarters when they were stormed by protesters late last week.
In an op-ed titled “The Algerian nightmare in Egypt,” A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Abdul Rahman Rashed warns that the Algerian scenario may repeat itself in Egypt, to the detriment of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“One cannot understand Egypt without studying the experiences of Algeria and Turkey. In Turkey, a ruling Islamist party provides a modern Islamic model capable of harmonization and governance. But Egypt’s Brotherhood is closer to the Salvation Front in Algeria, which wants to win the elections but does not want to adhere to its rules of governance.”
Will the Muslim Brotherhood opt for an all-encompassing confrontation to realize their General Guide Mohammed Badie’s claim that blood will be spilled in order to return the Brotherhood to power? wonders Al-Hayat columnist Abdullah Iskandar in an op-ed titled “The Brotherhood: Either us or a civil war.” The answer Iskandar provides is “probably yes.”
“The political indications and those coming from the ground strengthen the suspicion that the Brotherhood will not hesitate to go down and take its enemies with it after power was seized from it by force,” writes Iskandar.
“This is what the Brotherhood has been doing since its inception almost a century ago, when using all possible means to realize its goal.”
Denying that the “July revolution” was a military coup, Al-Masry Al-Youm columnist Abdul Moneim Said fears that this revolution too may be squandered. Egypt’s structural problems are more profound than one government or another, and must be addressed honestly.
“Our nation’s problems… are deeper than the nature of any political regime. Every year or so we can replace a nationalist regime with a liberal or an Islamic one, but which of those will change the reality that in 2012 the growth rate [in Egypt] reached its highest point since 1991, with 32 live births for every 1,000 residents … according to international estimates, the number of Egyptian citizens will reach 100 million by 2030. They have been reliant on the world since 2007 in importing energy, and extremely sensitive to the global price of food, which they have been importing for a long time.”