Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reacting to the Swearing in of Morsy as Egypt's President

A Morsy supporter prays on Egyptian flag after presidential announcement. June 24, 2012. Photo Credit Mohamed Hesham

Dear readers

Mohamed Morsy is now officially Egypt's president. He does not have very many powers, to be sure. Most of the power in the country is still in the hand's of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, aka the military junta.

The good news is that there is a civilian president of Egyptian descent running (sort of) the country. The Revolution has indeed achieved a victory in this sense.To the extent that this development is worth celebrating the Revolution continues.

Remember, there is no parliament in Egypt right now. There is no constitution written by the people. The SCAF keeps unilaterally amending the Constitution, which is completely in violation of all constitutional and legal principles.I found Morsy's comments that he will respect the military somewhat laughable, considering that in actual fact, he serves at the will of the junta. Morsy promises to preserve military's rights.

A cynic might say that the SCAF is simply allowing Morsy's victory as a way of maintaining the veneer of progress. I really respect Abdel Rahman, and this is the line he subscribes too. Let us call it the "marriage of convenience" hypothesis. Morsy Loves You. Egypt runs on the fuel of rumors, and many say that Morsy and the SCAF struck a deal before his victory. Another concern is that a lot of Saudi and possibly Qatari money fueled the Morsy campaign. One of the more interesting rumours I heard at AUC was that Hamas was threatening to blow up key bridges and infrastructure if Morsy did not win. 

I disagree with Robert Fisk writing in the Independent (United Kingdom),Egypt Has No Constitution, Parliament or Control Egypt calmed down considerably after the election of Mohammed Morsy. The stock market rebounded, and an air of calm suffused New Cairo at least. Many were upset, but sort of adopted the stiff upper lip motto.  That being said, a pro Shafiq sit in continues in Nasr City.

In juicy gossip, apparently Shafiq went to Abu Dhabi with (allegedly) thousands of tons of luggage in tow after his defeat. If this story is true, this kind of fairly blatant corruption makes one think that perhaps it is best Shafiq lost. One of the big challenges facing Morsy is to begin prosecuting corrupt officeholders from the Mubarak government seriously. Here is the FJP platform. More analysis later. FJP political program from their very nice English language web page. The biggest issue facing Morsy is improving Egypt's ailing economy.

Here is an interesting article on the way forward for activists. Taking Stock: what comes after the election for activists?