Political Confrontation in Egypt
-From DR. ABDUL RUFF
[Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal, Specialist on State Terrorism ;Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Commentator on world affairs, Analyst on Middle East, Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Former university Teacher; website: abdulruff.wordpress.com/mail: email@example.com
[Friday, 23 November 2012]
Political Confrontation in Egypt
Old guard represented by former authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak has now assumed the role of new “guardians of democracy” in Egypt. An unusual alliance of liberal forces and defenders of the autocratic rule of Mubarak has emerged in recent days to fight President Mursi’s decision to take on untrammelled power. President Mursi has now said he would not assume absolute power.
Authoritarian rulers have used absolute power in the Arab world to get away with almost anything in the last half-century and the decision of new popularly elected Egyptian president, and Morsi appears to accept and set some limits on his power.
As pro-Mubarak factions continue to attempt to cripple president Mursi power, Morsi announced his decrees last week in an attempt to preserve the hard won democratic gains of the revolution and to counter Mubarak sympathizers among the judiciary.
Power is absolute?
President Mursi re-asserts the powers he took from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) junta in a political coup in August, also granting himself further powers over the ongoing formulation of Egypt’s constitution. Article II of his declaration states that all “previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by the president since he took office on 30 June 2012, until the constitution is approved and a new People’s Assembly is elected are final and binding and cannot be appealed by any way or to any entity.” Article III dismisses Egypt’s prosecutor-general Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, a long-standing rival of Mursi. Meguid’s successor will be directly appointed “by the President of the Republic for a period of four years.”
Mursi announced that the Islamist-dominated body writing a new constitution could not be dismissed by courts, something that Egypt’s constitutional court had apparently been threatening to do. The new move, if it were given legal weight, would confine Morsi’s courtroom immunity to decisions in which he is acting on behalf of the entire nation — such as going to war and signing treaties. But leaders in the region have also used such power on behalf of national security, which can be broadened to encompass far more.
The people of Egypt support Mohamed Morsi. Mursi’s declaration explicitly targets rival sections opposing new Egyptian state. “The people want the implementation of the shari’a of God,” the crowded chanted at one point, a reference to laws derived from the Koran and Islamic traditions. “The people want to dissolve the constitutional court.” For the most part, the audience listened attentively to the 45-minute speech. Morsi issued his decrees just a day after garnering international praise for helping bring about a cease-fire between the Gaza Strip and Israel following a week of bloody conflict. His emendations to Egypt’s transitional constitution said that no court was permitted to question any of his decisions.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Nour party, formed by Salafists, called off a rally planned in support of the president, who won June elections with 52 percent of the vote, saying they were worried about the potential for clashes with those who oppose him. That appeared to be another attempt to calm tempers. Many Mubarak-era figures have been acquitted or received light sentences on charges of corruption and abuses.
Egypt’s fragile democratic-Islamic transition is under threat due to rapidly emerging divide between Egypt’s ruling political Islamists and the anti-regime protesters. Hundreds of protesters camping out in now famed Tahrir Square and vowing not to leave until the president Mursi rescinds his new decrees, and Morsi’s Islamist backers and his opponents both planning to mobilize duelling demonstrations in the coming week.
President vs. Judges
The constitutional court appeared poised to dissolve within weeks the body writing a new constitution, as well as the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament. The court had already dismissed the lower house in June, shortly before Morsi was inaugurated. Mursi has said he will give up his powers once a new constitution and parliament are in place.
Morsi met with the country’s top administrative body for courts to discuss the measures. That body, the Supreme Judicial Council, had said that judges should not go on strike. On Monday, there were scattered courtroom strikes around the country.
Egypt’s association of judges called for the judicial system to come to a halt to fight an assertion of near-absolute power by the nation’s first democratically elected president, setting the stage for a confrontation between the courts and a man who has said his will is not subject to appeal. Judges across the country vowed to strike, and lawyers filed several legal challenges to the move by President Mohamed Morsi, who has said he is assuming broad powers temporarily to combat entrenched remnants of the former authoritarian government. The constitutional court, meanwhile, hinted that it may weigh in on the matter, directly challenging the man who has tried to sideline them.
The constitutional court, meanwhile, held an emergency meeting of its own Morsi backers said that the constitutional court had been harming democracy, not helping it, by issuing dramatic rulings that shut down new institutions as they emerged.
Egypt’s judges’ association, many of whose members were appointed by Mubarak, called the Morsi moves an “unprecedented assault on the judiciary”. Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, an appointee of former president Hosni Mubarak and prosecutor general until Morsi booted him from office vowed that he would fight the sidelining of the courts if it cost him his life. Mahmoud has presided over the acquittals of many officials of the old autocratic government, and Islamists and liberal revolutionaries alike had wanted him gone. But now, however, many of those “secularists” found themselves on his side, with the country’s leading liberal politicians and human rights organizations uniting in opposition to Morsi’s measures.
Morsi and his supporters, who include the ultraconservative Nour Party and other groups of political Islamists, have said that the moves were necessary at a time when obstacles erected by judges and prosecutors installed under Mubarak have blocked the new president’s agenda. His supporters say the action was intended in large part to protect the work of a committee appointed to write a new constitution at a time when Egypt’s highest court had signaled that it might disband that squabbling body. The Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, a Morsi ally said in a statement that all the obstacles that have occurred during the transitional period were made by remnants of the former regime to discredit the revolution and hinder its movement. Morsi has said he will relinquish his extraordinary powers after the constitution is written and a new legislature elected.
The timing is interesting occurring the day after the cease fire between Israel and Hamas. He must have felt confident that the West would look the other way to avoid a conflict in Gaza.
The American/Israel evil alliance fully supported the last Pharaoh the despotic Mubarak with weapons and money. It is known that the evil alliance prefers that Israel's Semitic brothers the populations of its surrounding Arab states remain under dictatorial rule. After all CIA funded dictatorships promoted by evil alliance are more easily controlled.
Words and expressions such as pharaoh, god, despot and assassin of democracy filled Egyptian media coverage on Friday to brand President Mohammed Mursi following his sudden snatch of sweeping powers. While Nobel laureate Mohammed ElBaradei described Mursi as Egypt’s new pharaoh, a prominent lawyer who defended Muslim Brothers in Hosni Mubarak’s jails for 15 years has branded the new Mursi as a God.
While many supporters of Mursi insist that the president’s move to render all his decisions irrevocable by any authority, including the judiciary, was a necessary step to moving the country forward, aimed at supporting democracy and protecting the goals of the revolution, the opponents warned his move was a dangerous backward leap into another dictatorship, potentially worse than its predecessor.
Hillary Rodham Clinton had been taken by surprise by the decision and spoke by phone on Monday with Egypt’s foreign minister about the unfolding political confrontation, as well as about the progress of talks on Gaza. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to endorse Morsi’s assurances that he is not making a permanent power grab. She would not rule out a future docking of US aid. And she said that Clinton, who visited Morsi in Cairo to broker the Gaza cease-fire the day before he announced the measures, “did not have any forewarning of this decree.” “These moves raised concerns not only in Egypt, they raised concerns in the international community about the way forward here,” Nuland said. The general absence of strong international condemnation of last week’s move was making many liberal Egyptians who oppose Morsi question the United States’ commitment to democratic ideals.
It has been five months since Mursi took office in an election bitterly contested between him and former regime figure Ahmed Shafiq. The liberal revolutionary forces then failed miserably to unite around a common candidate. Today, these forces are still divided and there is major doubt they can swing the decisions of President Mursi who is backed by a powerful, well-organized machine of supporters. Opposition thought the USA would support them like in Libya and Syria.
After yesterday’s presidential decrees, Egyptians still trust that their president Mursi will not misuse his powers.
Basically, between Morsi and the Constitutional Court there is a confrontation of duelling legitimacies. Legal analysts said that if the court finds that the president is not permitted to amend the constitution, it may also have to void an August decision by Morsi to strip the military of its power to declare legislation.
Those who are objecting are simply against the president and Muslim Brotherhood. It is possible that this assumption of powers was necessary because the present judiciary were appointed by the evil alliance supported dictator Mubarak and were reluctant to convict those charged with atrocities against the Egyptian people during the reign of the last Pharaoh, Mubarak! The judiciary also refused to accept that Morsi could fire them. Perhaps he hoped to clear corrupt evil alliance supported judges from the system.
Morsi already had effective legislative power because the constitutional court dismissed Egypt’s parliament shortly before he was elected. In August, he sidelined Egypt’s once-powerful military by sacking its longtime leaders and taking away many of its powers. His decree, which includes sacking the chief prosecutor and retrial of those accused of attacking protesters when ex-President Mubarak held office, was regarded as undemocratic even by those who supported autocracy of Mubarak and other Arab and African nations.
Critics and cynics say whatever the motivation for Morsi’s move, the effort to shield his government from judicial challenge might remove whatever checks and balances exist in Egypt at this point but nothing will happen if other suitable mechanism is in place.
The current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt’s international commitments. For this a strong presidency is necessary.
But President Mursi has not yet made a basic shift in Mubarak era polices. It is a fact that Mursi has not started any pro-people measures to help them improve their life conditions. On foreign front, new Egypt continues with pro-US policies to ensure flow of US aid. Cairo has not initiated steps to mitigate the sufferings the besieged Palestinians. On the contrary, Mursi has reportedly promised the Israeli fascists to block entries to Gaza, thereby causing more problems for Palestinians.
The sweeping decrees he issued, he said, were intended to defend the revolution that led to Morsi’s election this June. Does anyone really believe that he will relinquish power afterwards? Will his effort to assume absolute power help him in turn help the people of Egypt?
Egypt President Mohammed Mursi has come under intense criticism over decisions to consolidate powers. Will Egypt be corrupted absolutely?
د. عبد راف
Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by CIA & other anti-Islamic agencies. Regimes often resort to state terrorism.Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Fake democracies like USA, Israel and India have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices. Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than "terrorism" Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims