La Croix says Egyptians, as they vote, are between "hope and anger". Le Figaro praises non-violent elections in Morocco. And Le Parisien turns to domestic politics - left and right are arguing over whether foreign nationals should have the right to vote in French local elections. That's the focus for this look at the French papers, Monday 28th November 2011.
La Croix, the Catholic Daily, says Egyptians are “between hope and anger”. It quotes one woman, Hanane Shaker, a 52-year-old government worker in Cairo, who did not attend protests in Tahrir Square in January and February but has done so now for the first time in recent days. She says: “I saw young people getting killed, so I decided to go”. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is expected to emerge as the main party in the People’s Assembly after a drawn out electoral process. La Croix says it will do so “despite internal divisions and defections”. The paper quotes one candidate, Hassan El-Baghdady in Alexandria - standing for a rival party - saying Egyptians are more wary of Islamic parties since the 11th of February revolution.
Libération argues there is one election and two main forces vying for power: the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. There have been mass protests against the military ruling council over the last ten days. Its article: “Des militaires égyptiens à la musette bien garnie” looks at the army’s business empire. “Musette” is French for army haversack and “bien garnie” means “stuffed with provisions”. The paper says the army controls around 30% of the Egyptian economy, from parts of the construction industry to the food sector, including Safi mineral water, the top-selling water brand in the country. In its proposed constitutional changes, the military stipulates the army budget should be excluded from civilian oversight.
In Morocco, the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party, the PJD, will be in government for the first time after gaining most votes in the country’s elections. Le Figaro’s editorial says Morocco has turned out to be the exception among Arab countries undergoing change. It says blood has not been spilt, no weapons have been used and that this is due to King Mohammed the Sixth who, the paper says, introduced reforms as the wave of Arab revolts unfolded. Le Figaro says he is an example in the region, notably for King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Debate, meanwhile, has erupted here in France about the right of non-EU foreign nationals to vote in local elections. Le Parisien leads with the headline that 61% of the French are in favour of letting these foreigners have that right. It’s something the left wing in France is pushing for and which the right-wing is blocking.
The paper headlines: "Bataille autour du droit de vote des étrangers" - a battle has broken out. It quotes an Algerian market stall holder, Mourad, saying he’d welcome a chance to vote after being in the country for ten years. It would make him feel he was part of things. And the cartoon shows a French couple looking at election posters saying: “Sarkozy? Hollande? Are those French names?” The man’s wife chimes in, saying you should vote for Eva Joly, the leader of the Greens. Now, “Joly” sounds French but in fact Joly is Franco-Norwegian, she was born in Norway.