The upcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt continue to lead the news in Arabic media on Wednesday, with President Morsi having seemingly alienated both the country’s Islamists and its liberals.
“Egypt: Toward an Islamic parliament following the opposition’s boycott,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat, reporting that Morsi “ignored” the main demands of the opposition, causing the Salafi Nour party to almost withdraw from talks with Morsi.
The National Salvation Front, Egypt’s main opposition coalition, announced on Tuesday that it was boycotting the elections over the new election law and “the government’s assault on the legal system.” They claimed that holding elections under the current circumstances is unconstitutional.
“Morsi: Foreign elements will monitor the parliamentary elections,” reads the headline of London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat. The daily reports that the elections have taken “a dangerous turn” that causes observers to fear for the country’s stability.
Lawlessness and crime are leading Egyptians to change their daily routines, refraining for example from visiting relatives, another article in A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports. Many Egyptians are also asking their employers to relocate them, since carjacking on the way to work has become a common phenomenon.
“The increasing atmosphere of animosity in Egypt portends great dangers and raises concern about what the next days and weeks may bring to the country,” writes A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Othman Mirghani. “The country has lost the glamour of the revolutionary days, sinking in a spiral of frustration and depression. Many people are evening talking about the army and its role in a country which has grown accustomed to live under the shadow of a military establishment in power for over 60 years.”
“Morsi commits to hold clean elections, and the Salvation Front boycotts,” reads the headline of the article in Qatari news station Al-Jazeera.
Al-Quds Al-Arabi, a newspaper based in London, reports the opposition boycott as well as the protest of Egypt’s Salafis over the appointment of 12,000 Brotherhood members to state positions.
Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, clearly pro-boycott, reports the opposition’s “consensus” on the move.
“Morsi said nothing new in his speech a day before yesterday,” writes Al-Masry Al-Youm Amr Shubaki. “He has begun very early to send negative messages to the Egyptian people, continuing where Mubarak ended after a quarter century.”
“Thirty years after the last war with Israel, he said that the reason for our problems is the wars. Morsi went back to talking about things disconnected from reality or the core of the problems addressed by the opposition and a large segment of public opinion.”
Tunisia: Oppositionist was killed by Salafis
An announcement by Tunisia’s interior ministry that an extremist Salafi group was behind the assassination of liberal opposition leader Shokri Belaid reaches the front pages of many Arab dailies.
Interior minister Ali Aridh said on Tuesday that the government has arrested four members of an extremist gang, Tunisian citizens aged 26-34, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports, displaying a photo of the scene of Belaid’s murder, where a pile of flowers lie on the ground.
Al-Hayat reports that Tunisia’s Salafis are distancing themselves from Belaid’s murder.
“I am certain that no Salafi or Muslim perpetrated such a silly action, even if the man arrested was bearded and wearing Islamic garb,” reads a statement by Tunisia’s Salafi Asalah party.
Al-Arabiya, a Dubai-based news station, quotes a report by a judicial watchdog, claiming that pressure has been exerted on the judge who is investigating the case.