Monday, 15 July 2013

The Second Coming of Revolution or a Third Coup ?

The question of the whether the Second Egyptian Uprising is part of an unfinished democratic revolution or a coup that destroyed a democratically elected government has to take into consideration if there ever was a revolution in the first place or a popular overthrow of a dictator coopted by the Egyptian military.

Many were not very satisfied with having the choice in the presidential elections of 2012 between an ex-military figure, Ahmed Shafik , a leftover from the Mubarak regime who hot 48.27% of the vote compared to Morsi's 51.73% from a turnout of 43.4%.

As for any new elections,as promised by the transitional government, it is quite possible the Muslim Brotherhood would boycott them if it gets held as promised next year. They became very unpopular with Egyptians. If they did participate they may well lose.

The elections set by the interim president for February 2014 are parliamentary ones as there has not been an election since late 2011 and parliament was dissolved by the Supreme Constitutional Court on 12 June 2012 just two days before the presidential elections that Morsi went on to win began.

One reason Morsi is deeply unpopular is that he tried to use presidential decree to challenge the constitution and push it in a direction more suitable for the Islamists and proceeded to rule without there being a parliament at a time of growing economic chaos and collapse.

It could be that the army and the judiciary, consisting of Mubarak era appointees, were content for Morsi to step into power in order to let him make a mess of his rule set against the fact parliament was dissolved on the basis that there had been electoral irregularities in MB seats.

From the perspective of the anti-Morsi street demonstrators and groups wanting to push the revolution forward from 2011, the need is for a new constitution and new parliamentary elections. The scale of trust being placed in the army looks as though it could have been misplaced.

The Egyptian military leaders most likely know that if elections are held in February 2014 the Muslim Brotherhood will not win a majority of seats. Maybe this was part of the plan. SCAF has overseen the entire 'transition' process from the fall of Mubarak to the present so there was no real 'revolution' in the first place.

The Muslim Brotherhood called the dissolution of parliament a coup but it also stalled the progress of the democratic revolution rival parties had called for. So the second coup of  2013 is a part of second revolution to those who wanted a new constitution. But the second coup might really have been the third one.

After all, the revolt against Mubarak in 2011 was essentially  coopted and presided over by the military. It was a way of getting rid of a discredited dictator the better to coalition a new regime that would represent better the 'will of the people' while serving to prop up the machinery of government inherited from Mubarak.

1 comment:

  1. I never knew there could be so many entities vying for power in a single country.