Muslim Brotherhood To Join Mass Rally In Cairo Against the Military
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday challenged the appropriation by the military council of presidential prerogatives days after the presidential elections on June 16 and 17, which the Brotherhood claims to have won. The Brotherhood announced it would join the mass rally of the young people in Cairo on Tuesday, protesting against the military’s decisions to give itself legislative and executive powers, by a constitution declaration they issued on Sunday in which the military is to retain the right to legislate and to have a saying in the elaboration of the new constitution.
The Brotherhood’s protest also comes after a decision of a court to dissolve the parliament of the country, where the Brotherhood has a large majority. A court ruling disbanded a few months ago the constituent assembly entrusted with issuing a new constitution.
On Tuesday, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi reiterated his claim to victory, a claim his contender, Ahmed Shafiq, made as well. The final results of the election will be announced on Thursday, and they are expected to end the period of transition from the rule of Mubarak to democracy.
The military council had promised to hand power over to the government appointed as a result of the elections, but the recent developments allude that the military is not ready to go, or at least wants to fight for its privileges before leaving power to the civilian government.
The Pentagon, which is supporting the Egyptian army with $1 billion per year, has urged the generals of the supreme council in power to relinquish power to the civilian authorities and observe the human rights of the Egyptians.
According to Egyptian analysts, the dissolving of the parliament and the constitutional decree places the military above the state, creating a “state above the state,” which is immune to any challenges.
Bloomberg reports that the Brotherhood’s hardship does not end here, as two lawsuits seeking to dissolve the organization on the grounds that it was not properly registered, were deferred until September.
According to the new interim constitution the newly elected president of the country would have the right to appoint a Cabinet and to approve or reject laws, while the supreme council would have the power to make them.
The president would lose the title of Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to the generals of the army, while the supreme council of armed forces in power now would have the right to appoint a 100-member panel with the task of drafting a new constitution.
Analysts of the Egyptian political life say that by these provisions the military is taking a serious step toward controlling the state but cannot have all the power in it, even though it becomes more powerful than the Muslim Brotherhood and the political parties.
Analysts consider that while denying having staged a real coup in Egypt, the military will continue to play an important role in the country’s politics, even though they will be forced to cede an amount of power to the newly elected authorities at the end of serious negotiations. Today’s Zaman’s editorialists are wondering whether they will choose to keep their grip on the power for the next years overtly, as they do now, or choose to exert it through a civilian government.
According to the new constitution declaration, the new president may be in power for a year after which he would have to cede power back to the military until the next elections are set. Since the new constitution will change completely the Egyptian political landscape it is expectable that the new realities to demand that the president too go to new elections, which could be staged sometime next year, if the constitution is adopted late this year.11