Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Tough road ahead for democracy in Egypt  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 06/01/2013

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - Arab News) On Dec. 22, 2012, Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi got approval through a referendum for a much-contested altered constitution. Will this prove to be Pyrrhic victory, won at too high a cost?

The confrontation between Mursi and his opponents started in June 2012, when he was elected president. The present phase of that confrontation started on Nov. 22, when Mursi proclaimed that presidential decrees were above challenge in any court of law till a new Parliament was elected under the new constitution. Opposition leader Mohammad ElBaradei immediately accused Mursi of "wanting to be a new pharaoh."

Two days later, the National Salvation Front (NSF) was formed. It includes leftists, secularists and liberals. The parties that united against the president include the Egyptian Popular Current, Al-Dastour, Al-Tajammu, Free Egyptians, New Wafd, the Democratic Front, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and the Conference Party.

The three prominent leaders of the NSF are ElBaradei, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Amr Moussa, the former secretary general of the Arab League (and Ambassador to India in the late 1980s), and Hamdeen Sabahi, a Nasserist politician who stood third in the presidential election.

ElBaradei is however not fully justified in accusing Mursi of trying to become a "new pharaoh." The Supreme Court of Egypt was reportedly about to dissolve the Constituent Assembly. It was necessary for Mursi to pre-empt any such move and his proclamation specifically said that the judiciary could not dissolve the assembly.

On Nov. 24, Morsi staged a partial retreat: Only "acts of sovereignty" were above judicial scrutiny, he said. The NSF was not appeased and reinforced its agitation. Some members of the Constituent Assembly, Coptic Christians and liberals, boycotted assembly sessions. Fearing that a court ruling would dissolve the assembly, members of the assembly held night sessions, and by Nov. 30 the new constitution was ready to be put to a referendum. Mursi announced the dates: Dec. 15 and 22. The NSF threatened to boycott the referendum, but later changed its mind. Mursi won the referendum by a two-thirds majority, but only one-third of the electorate voted.

After Mursi announced the dates for the referendum, the situation deteriorated. His party's offices were attacked and burned. The presidential palace came under siege. Mursi was compelled to call the army to protect him. This dependence on the armed forces is not a good sign for a democratizing Egypt. Mursi had earlier staged a coup by dismissing Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which had stood in the way of Egypt's march toward democracy when President Hosni Mubarak left office. The SCAF tried to curtail the president's powers even after he took office in June 2012. Morsi must have reluctantly sought protection from the army.

Is the new constitution bad for Egypt? Not really. Its highlights include: The Shariah remains the main source of legislation; Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's leading authority, will be consulted on matters related to the Shariah; Christianity and Judaism will be the main source of legislation for Christians and Jews; their right to beliefs will be protected; the state's obligations are limited to Islam, Christianity and Judaism; and a president can stay in office only for two four-year terms.

The 1971 Constitution also had the same language about Shariah. It permitted the president to be re-elected any number of times. The position given to Al-Azhar is new.

President Mursi has said that he is willing to enter into a dialogue on amendments to the Constitution, but the NSF has yet to accept the offer. Elections to the Parliament will be held in early 2013. NSF leaders have said that they are hopeful of a majority, in which event ElBaradei will want to "cancel" the new constitution. It remains to be seen if the NSF will stay united and fight the election.

Meanwhile, Egypt's economy is going from bad to worse. Since the commencement of the agitation against Mubarak in January 2011, the tourism industry has been losing 267 million a week; the Central Bank has spent 20 billion to prop the falling Egyptian pound, now at its lowest in eight years. Rich Egyptians are sending money out. Foreign exchange reserves are perilously low at 15 billion, enough for imports only for three months.

Mursi has been blamed for polarizing Egypt. The charge is not entirely justified. The NSF too is responsible for the polarization.

 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Qatar- HH Sheikha Moza Meets Mayor of Kobe Visits RIKEN Research Institution ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kobe April 24 - Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF) today held a meeting with the ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Sidra-BMC Event Boosts Biomedical Research Publishing ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - A symposium organised jointly by Sidra Medical Research Centre and BioMed Central (BMC) mulled trends in research and on open access publishing here ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Mannai Corp Q1 Net Profit up 73% to QR 150.1 Million ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Exchange listed Mannai Corporation (QE: MCCS) net profit is up 73% to QR 150.1 Million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ending March 31 ...

Apr 24 2014Bahraini firms forecasted to grow 10 pct ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) In a report based on a study of over 650 companies across GCC, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) forecasts a growth of the Bahraini companies' earnings by 10 percent in 2014, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Army Storms Deir Samit Village West of Hebron ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) bron April 24 - Israeli army forces stormed at dawn Thursday Deir Samit village southwest of Hebron city in the West Bank. The Israeli forces conducted raid and search ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Airways to add more seats on Doha-Vienna route ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways plans to offer more 1.700 seats on its Doha-Vienna route beginning from September 2014, according to Gulf News. The company aims to expand the growing passenger demand from ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- QFC Authority Five-a-Side Football Tournament Kicks Off ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority's first Five-a-side Football Tournament is displaying dribbling skills of executives from Doha's financial ...

Apr 24 2014Dubai SME ties up with Taylor Wessing to raise awareness on Intellectual Property and fund-raising among SME100 firms ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Dubai SME, the agency of the Department for Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the SME sector, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the international law ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Stock Exchange Down 0.05% ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - The Qatar Exchange ended in the red area when trading closed Thursday at 12954.93 points (0.05%) down 6.63 points from the previous closing of 12961.56 ...

Apr 24 2014Mannai Corporation net profit soars 73 percent in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's Mannai Corporation said that its net profit in the first quarter of this year increased significantly, the Peninsula Qatar reported. The group said that net profit in the period ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Border area ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Gaza April 24 - Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip witnesses said. The tanks crossed into Gaza in an area called ...

Apr 24 2014President Salva Kiir Relieves his Chief of the General Staff ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Juba April 24 -South Sudanese President Salva Kiir relieved Chief of the General Staff of south sudan army James Hoth Mai. This came in a presidential decree aired ...

Apr 24 2014Omani non-oil exports to enter African markets ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the Sultanate is seeking expansion in new African markets, in a time it is looking forward to reduce its ...

Apr 24 2014Redefining large AOC launches 28€³ MVA monitors ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Display specialist AOC launches its first two 28" (71.1 cm) monitors. The m2870Vhe and m2870Vq feature extra-large 16:9 MVA panels with Full HD resolution, wide viewing angles and high ...

Apr 24 2014Afghan Guard Shoots Dead 3 Foreigners in Hospital ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kabul April 24 - Three foreigners including a doctor were shot dead and their colleague wounded when a guard of a private Cure Hospital opened fire on them in the ...

Apr 24 2014US Secretary of State Meets Egyptian Intelligence Chief ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) shington April 24 - US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the Egyptian Intelligence Chief Major General Mohammed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami who is currently ...

Apr 24 2014Egypt's Interim President Receives Phone Call from South African President ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour has received a telephone call from President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma in which they discussed ...

Apr 24 2014Finance House Q1 Net Soars 38% to AED 35.51 Million ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Finance House PJSC (FH), has kicked-off 2014 on an upbeat note by registering a consolidated net profit of AED 35.51 million for the first quarter of 2014, which is nearly 38% higher ...

Apr 24 2014Mazola launches Sunflower Oil in new 1.8 litre label and packaging ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Mazola, one of the leading names in the regional food industry, today announced the launch of its 1.8 litre Sunflower Oil in a brand new pack and label design. The new look perfectly ...

Apr 24 2014Georgian Justice Minister Leaves Doha ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - HE Minister of Justice of Georgia Tia Tsulukiana left Doha on Thursday morning wrapping up a two-day official visit to the country. An agreement on ...

more...


 
Click to Apply






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help