Monday’s papers: Who’s left standing after presidential nomination deadline

Today’s papers are bursting with information about presidential candidates after Sunday’s deadline for presidential nominations.

State-run Al-Ahram presents a brief biography of all 23 candidates who qualified to run, each headed by a single headline supposedly capturing the candidate’s spirit.

The 70-year-old lawyer Mohamed Selim al-Awa is “on the path of Gandhi,” according to the state daily, while the litigious Mortada Mansour is presented as “daring.”  Abul Ezz al-Hariry meanwhile is “the constant troublemaker.”

Independent Youm7 leads with the headline that Omar Suleiman — a former intelligence and close associated of ex-President Hosni Mubarak — is Israel’s preferred candidate.

The offensive against Suleiman continues on page five, where it is reported that Suleiman’s opponents will “fight” to prevent Suleiman from becoming president.

Al-Wafd on its front page declares that Suleiman, or “the General,” as the paper refers to him, is “reconquering Mubarak’s throne.”

Going against the tide as usual, Hanan Khawasek dedicates her column in Al-Wafd today to trashing the presidential candidates before writing a eulogy for Suleiman.

“We perhaps don’t know personal details about him or his work other than his extreme modesty, concealing a sharp intelligence — so much so that he is nicknamed the ‘cunning fox’,” Khawasek writes.

Al-Ahram publishes the results of an opinion poll of 1,200 people conducted between 31 March and 3 April.

According to the survey, Amr Moussa and Hazem Salah Abu Ismail are the front-runners, with 30 percent and 28 percent respectively, while Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh is trailing in third with 8 percent.

The survey also found that 94 percent of those surveyed support a presidential system, and that 33 percent of people who planned to vote for Abu Ismail, who may be disqualified after the revelation that his mother had American nationality, would vote for Abouel Fotouh in the event of Abu Ismail being disqualified.

Al-Ahram also reports that the People’s Assembly suggestions committee has rejected a draft law presented by MP Mohamed Abdu that would have canceled women’s right to khula, a kind of divorce Muslim women can obtain if they pay back their marriage settlement.

Deputy head of the Wafd Party Ahmed Ezz al-Arab despairs about the current political situation in an opinion piece in Al-Wafd, writing that the counter-revolution is about to finish off the January 25 uprising and that the “coming dictatorship” may be religious, rather than military, in character.

Privately owned Al-Tahrir doesn’t allow presidential elections news to interfere with its usual Muslim Brotherhood bashing. Writing about the troubled Constituent Assembly, it asks sarcastically: “Why not convene it in the supreme guide’s office?”

The Salafi-oriented Nour Party, in its eponymously named mouthpiece paper, has a double-page spread on the “hostile plans to tarnish Islamist forces.” It says Zionists and Americans are “waging war” using Egyptian agents because the removal of Mubarak and his allies made the US and Israel “utter cries of regret.”

Liberals are joining in the attack as well in the form of a media campaign against Islamists, Nour says, prompting Nour Party Shura Council member Mohamed al-Azab to ask, “What have Islamists done to justify this smearing by these biased people?”

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party

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