People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny’s decision to suspend parliamentary sessions Monday without putting it to a general vote shifted the dispute over the Cabinet. Originally pitting Parliament against the government and ruling military council, now the scuffle has left the Freedom and Justice Party to defy other political players on its own.
In Wednesday’s papers, political forces criticize the Muslim Brotherhood for insisting on dismantling the Cabinet and implicating the Parliament in the escalation of the group's battle with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
After months of condemnations and threats for the military to dismantle the government, Katatny announced Monday that the military council informed him that it would soon reshuffle the Cabinet. When SCAF member Mohsen al-Fangary denied the statement, Katatny announced the suspension of Parliament sessions.
Al-Shorouk newspaper reports on the shift in parliamentary alliances with the headline, “Parties come together in Parliament to confront the Brotherhood.”
The paper says that other than the Brotherhood, members of Parliament see escalation with the military council at this point, two months before the transfer of power, as futile and have asserted the importance of Parliament making wise, not rushed, decisions.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reports that the Cabinet has resumed its work as scheduled, while the Brotherhood continues to insist on its dismissal and other parties reject the Brotherhood’s solo decision to suspend sessions.
The paper quotes party leaders criticizing the Brotherhood for insisting on dismantling the government without putting it to a vote.
According to Al-Ahram, parliamentary committees continue to meet without Freedom and Justice Party members. MPs from Beheira Governorate have also met with Ganzouri, showing that they don’t comply with Katatny’s decision.
Abul Ezz al-Hariry, presidential candidate and head of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party parliamentary bloc, called the suspension of sessions “a crime that exceeds those of the past [Mubarak] regime.” Hariry said that by suspending Parliament without voting, Katatny has violated parliamentary bylaws.
Independent Al-Dostour newspaper reports that the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, the liberal Wafd Party and other liberal and independent MPs are collecting signatures demanding Katatny apologize for suspending Parliament without considering the opinion of the members.
The paper also cites Cabinet sources as saying Ganzouri will resign if any changes are made to his government.
The Freedom and Justice Party, on the other hand, continues its fight against the government in its Freedom and Justice paper, leading with the headline, “A failed government.”
Ignoring all other factions in Parliament that see dismantling the cabinet as futile at this point, the paper quotes its party’s lawmakers as rejecting the Cabinet, saying a reshuffle is not enough and asking for a new Cabinet altogether.
Most of the FJP paper is dedicated to a fierce attack on the Cabinet, detailing its failures in different ministries in a report titled, “The black list of unproductive ministers.”
The Brotherhood is also facing off with the military council in the battle over the Constituent Assembly. After a court dismantled the previous assembly, meetings have been taking place between political powers and the military council to determine the formation of a new one.
According to Al-Wafd newspaper, Katatny has ordered the People’s Assembly Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee to prepare to form the Constituent Assembly that will draft the constitution, rejecting the results of meetings between the military council and the political forces to address the issue.
Columnist Wael Qandil, in his Al-Shorouk column, criticizes the contradictory statements between the military council and the Brotherhood over the Ganzouri Cabinet while lives are being lost in a violent street fight in Abbasseya that began early Wednesday morning.
“The comedy of leaked news about the dismantling of the Cabinet, then its denial, proves that we have fallen into the hands of clowns who have turned the political scene into a circus,” wrote Kandil.
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt