Thursday’s papers: Out of the bottleneck

Egypt’s people and its army launched a new chapter in the country's history after successfully withstanding a dire political impasse that some say brought the country to the brink of civil war. 

The issue of presidential “legitimacy,” that of ousted leader Mohamed Morsy, is mentioned in almost every headline in Thurday's papers, underlining the fact that Morsy was overthrown by the same way he took office.

“The revolutionary legitimacy triumphs,” reads a red, bold headline at the top of privately-owned daily Youm7. State-owned paper Al-Gomhorriya leads with a similar headline: “The legitimacy of people triumphs.”

“Toppling the president by the revolutionary legitimacy,” reads the top headline of leading state-run paper Al-Ahram.   

Today’s papers also show images of fireworks lighting up the sky over the masses that thronged to Tahrir Square on Wednesday to celebrate the downfall of President Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood, which endured religious and political struggles for over 80 years before ascending to power.   

Privately-owned daily Al-Tahrir writes that Egypt’s military forces announced Wednesday evening a roadmap for the country’s political future that would be enforced by a national reconciliation committee.

Additionally, in his televised address, Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the appointment of the head of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as interim head of state, the suspension of the constitution, and an early presidential election to be held after the transition period comes to an end, the paper reports.

An anonymous source told Al-Tahrir that Morsy and 17 of the Brotherhood senior members have been put under house arrest to guarantee a peaceful transition of power.

Al-Ahram takes readers behind the scenes of the final hours of Morsy’s rule.

The paper employs some fairly self-promotional language when it says the ousted president was shocked when he discovered Tuesday night that Al-Ahram would publish the military-supervised roadmap in its Wednesday issue ahead of the looming resignation. Consequently, he hurriedly decided to deliver a speech to the nation to underline his ongoing legitimacy, the paper adds.

The paper reveals that Morsy was asked to announce his resignation on air as well as to leave the country peacefully, but turned both offers down. 

On the other hand, the Brotherhood reportedly offered an agreement with the military forces, demanding another 48-hour ultimatum to handle the situation in return for relinquishing power. The military, however, categorically refused to do anything other than put the people’s demands first.

Privately-owned daily Al-Watan states that the military’s declaration came as a tremendous shock for Islamist protesters who flooded Rabaa al-Adaweya Square and streets surrounding the area for the sixth day in a row to promote the first freely-elected Islamist president’s rule. 

Many Morsy’s backers perceive supporting the legitimacy of Morsy as a battle to defend Islam and the implementation of Sharia.

Violent clashes reportedly broke out Wednesday night after Morsy’s supporters fired shots at military officials standing around a building affiliated to the army forces next to the square.

Youm7 states that the 30 June organzers pointed the finger at Essam Haddad, a top foreign policy advisor to the ousted president, for allegedly distorting the image of the country’s armed forces by describing the fall of Morsy as a military coup.

Omar al-Gendy, a senior member of the National Salvation Front, echoed the sentiment, stressing that the Brotherhood are making every effort to convince U.S. President Barack Obama to put pressure on the military to back away from its stance.

Privately-owned Al-Shorouk sends strong signals that U.S. threw its weight behind the Brotherhood during the last few days of Morsy’s reign. These efforts, however, were in vain.

The paper quotes anonymous sources as saying that Washington threatened to cut military aid to Egypt if Morsy was overthrown. Obama suggested Morsy stay in office until early presidential elections are held, the report adds. 

In another sign that the Brotherhood is floundering, after failing to meet the nation’s political and social challenges, arrest warrants have been reportedly issued for Salafi Islamist politician Hazem Salah Abou Ismail, along with other senior members including Mohamed al-Beltagy, Safwat Hegazy, Tarek al-Zomor, and a leading member of Egypt's ultra-conservative Jamaa al-Islamiya movement, privately-owned daily Al-Dostour says.