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Morsi's unceremonious departure

Published Jul 07, 2013 04:38pm


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Egypt protests. — File photo
Egypt protests. — File photo
There are many eerie parallels to be found in the history of Pakistan and Egypt’s civil-military relations – and what has happened in Cairo this week has fortunately not happened in Pakistan since a fateful October day in 1999.

Yet, there are many clashing opinions as to exactly what the significance of what is unfolding in Egypt is. Many have heralded the tumultuous turn of events – President being ousted after being given an ultimatum by the military – as the enforcement of the ‘people’s will’. Others have bluntly declared it a military coup, and decried the manipulation of popular protest by erstwhile powerful forces in the country.

Either way, there are a lot of questions that arise as a result of the massive political shake up. How long will an ‘interim setup’ (headed by the top judge of Egypt) be in power? Will there be a transition to a democratically elected government? Will the army, as history shows, continue to be the shady power player in the background? Egypt’s military has backed autocracy for decades in the region.

Many analysts see this as a loss for democracy. Although Morsi was no saint by most standards – the people protesting on the streets were taking exception to a staggering economy, a strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of other more pressing matters, and Morsi’s inability to get along with other state organs – he was a democratically elected president. He may have won the mandate with a narrow majority, but he won nonetheless.

What do you think the future of Egypt looks like? Will democracy re-flourish? Will military rule end up being a long-term measure than a stop-gap measure? Will the ‘people power’ continue to function as a check on dictatorial power, whether in the form of the military or politicians? invites its readers to express their views.

Comments (8) Closed

dhamu chodavarapu Jul 07, 2013 06:28pm

The military worked here as judiciary. Mr. Morsi was elected on certain promises he made before & under elections

But after getting elected he took 180 degrees turn and wants all people to obey another standards. That is breach of promise, having no judiciary system to correct him, military got to put him out. Democracy works if only 3 fundamental element are quite independent no one dictating each other. 1.Law making, like parliament 2. law enforcement, like police 3. law surveillance, like judiciary.

He wanted all in one. It would not go in any democracy.

Citizen of the World Jul 07, 2013 09:43pm

While there are many parallels between the history of Egypt and Pakistan, there are also certain key differences that must be considered:

1) The removal of Morsi represents the continuation of a two year process initiated by popular activism which brought 20 million people onto the streets on June 30 - the largest gathering of humanity in history. It was not lead by established political parties as popular activism has been in Pakistan..

2) When Sissi announced the removal of Morsi, he was flanked by al-Baradei, the Coptic Pope and the head of al-Azhar (the oldest and most venerable institution in Sunni Islam), and the top leaders of popular activism. These are not the leaders of sectarian religio-political parties with Deobandi/Wahhabi affiliations, or established political parties with diabolical records of corruption, as in Pakistan.

3) Although the Egyptian army has long acted in its own corporate and US interests, its actions against Morsi were against the will of the US and its regional allies - which backed Morsi against the popular will. Elections do not make democracy. Consensus politics does, and that is where Morsi failed. Ayub Khan, as an example, was also elected in 1965. Does that mean it was undemocratic for Pakistanis to remove him after his election? And if it is said that Ayub was a military man, like Mubarak, recall that Hitler was a popularly elected civilian. Does that mean Germans did not have the right to remove him?

Taking such factors into account, the people of Egypt must be credited for not going home after the fall of Mubarak, but remaining vigilant and opposing all forces against their popular will to establish real democracy in Egypt. Should the Egyptian military fail to yield to this will in the coming months, the past two years suggest that people will hold them to account as much as they have Mubarak and Morsi. This massive, popular activism is the ultimate difference between the cases of Egypt and Pakistan.

Agha Ata Jul 07, 2013 11:35pm

Future has arrived too early for the people of this region and the whole of Middle East and some part of East. People here are not ready for it, yet. Now they are suffering from future shock, torn apart between two ideologies. There isn't any quick solution. Let few civil rules and the army rules happen for sometime before the nations mature..

jaffri Jul 08, 2013 02:15am

Whenever military takes power it is unconstitutional, whatever the arguments for it and whatever the circumstances. Egypt had military dictatorship for several decades in disguise of civilian president and that situation has returned. Whichever country has military dictatorship, its rulers have to get get dictation from foreign powers. In case of Egypt it has been USA and again will be USA.

Irfan Jul 08, 2013 03:11am

no matter how much you tweak it at dawn and esp. western media, Mursi was thrown out just bcz of his islamist agenda and the west has used its hypocrisy to justify the coup

salman Jul 08, 2013 07:57am

morsi should make a comeback.

Sultan khan Jul 08, 2013 04:14pm

There is no doubt that despite all his weaknesses Morsi was a democratically elected president for a certain period of time. His removal by the military is a blatant violation of the Egyptian constitution and with reference to Pakistan is a matter of high treason. More shocking is the collaboration of the Top judge with General Sissi, the judge being expected to know the law and constitution much more thoroughly as compared to the General. If Morsi was going wrong he could have been corrected in a quiet manner with behind the door persuations. To give him an ultimatum in the open was an insult not only to him but to 51% voters who cast their votes in his favour. As far as the "People power" is concerned it should always be exercised through the elected parliament. If exercised on the streets it may set up a vicious circle: today anti-Morsi getting the support of military-judiciary nexus and tomorrow pro_Morsi thereby relegating the parliament to the back burner. However, now all depends upon Morsi and Ikhwan-ul Muslimoon, If they stick to the constitution they are justified but the people will suffer but if they think nation and state are more important than constitution then in vies of the ground realities they must reconcile.

Tariq Jul 08, 2013 08:19pm

Morsi showed that he was 100% unprepared to be the leader of Egypt, but he was elected fair and square and should have been allowed to serve out his term. If I was an Egyptian citizen, I would not have been a Morsi supporter, but I would have gritted my teeth and put up with him until the next elections.

I remember how Pakistani media was all abuzz with conspiracy theories within a few months of the 2008 elections about how the Military was about to step in and remove the PPP government. Thank god it did not happen, and for the first time in Pakistan's history we had an elected government finish its term and handover power to the new parliament.

Another four years of Morsi's bad governance would have been far better than his forced removal.