Egypt’s Second Revolution, Ctd

Jul 1 2013 @ 1:24pm

Shadi Hamid notes that there “is no legal or constitutional mechanism through which Morsi, who was elected with 51.7 percent of the vote just a year ago, can be ousted”:

Opting for a revolutionary course this late in the game — after more than two years of transition and five elections — means starting from scratch with little guarantee that the second time will be much better. At some point, the past cannot be undone, except perhaps through mass violence on an unprecedented scale. If the first elected Islamist president is toppled, then what will keep others from trying to topple a future liberal president? If one looks at Tamarod’s justifications for seeking Morsi’s overthrow, the entire list consists of problems that will almost certainly plague his successor. They have little to do with a flawed transition process and a rushed constitution that ran roughshod over opposition objections and everything to do with performance (“Morsi was a total failure in achieving every single goal, no security has been reestablished and no social security realized, [giving] clear proof that he is not fit for the governance of such a country as Egypt,” reads the Tamarod statement of principles). Legitimacy cannot depend solely or even primarily on effectiveness or competence. If it did, revolution could be justified anywhere at any time, including in at least several European democracies.

Umar Farooq talks with Morsi supporters, who make related points:

“The constitution says the President stays for 4 years,” said Akram Elkot, a 27-year-old physician and a Morsi supporter from Alexandria. “If you don’t agree with the president, then wait for new elections.”

J.J. Gould describes the reaction of Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American democracy activist:

“I actually think it’s the best thing possible that the Muslim Brotherhood are now in government in Egypt,” Eltahawy said, “because they’ve embarrassed themselves for the terrible job of governing that they’ve done in a way that none of us could have done; they’ve done us a huge favor.” The Muslim Brotherhood has, in other words, accelerated both its political implosion and the comprehensive discrediting of its political ideology — at the cost to the Egyptian people of having had to endure a year of super-dreadful governance

And Avi Issacharoff points out that new elections might not bring change:

[I]t is worth remembering that at the moment it is easy for the opposition to arrange itself around the idea of bringing down Morsi. In the unlikely event of the president deciding to resign in the near future, then the old divisions between opposition factions would reappear. There is even a chance that should presidential elections be brought forward, a Muslim Brotherhood candidate would win yet again.