Morsi Presidency Could End Soon

Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 09:50 AM

By Tawfik Hamid

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The situation in Egypt has been deteriorating at a faster speed since President Morsi came to power last June.
 
Morsi put himself above the law, sought to consolidate power in his hands, turned a blind eye as his supporters killed innocent demonstrators in front of the presidential palace, and encouraged radical Islamists to surround the Supreme Constitutional Court to prevent judges from issuing a statement against him.
 
Many people in Egypt could have tolerated all of this had the economic situation improved. But the dire economic situation in the country has deteriorated only further as a result of Morsi’s policies, which have added more fuel to the fire that might bring an early end to the Morsi presidency.  
 
After his narrow victory in the presidential race, Morsi managed to manipulate and take control over the military, intelligence, police, legal system, and even the forensic medical establishments of the country.
 
Manipulation of the latter was exposed when a young Anti-Morsi political activist, Mohamed El-Gendy, was tortured to death by Morsi security forces. The case was politicized and the cause of the man’s death was ruled to be from a car accident so that the Morsi government could avoid condemnation.
 
Another unfair decision of the Morsi government forced the Sewiris family — a wealthy Coptic Christian family — to pay 14 Billion Egyptian pounds ($2.1 billion) in taxes on work that had previously been considered nontaxable.
 
This has caused a collapse of the stock market and the decision could be part of a larger wave of religious discrimination against Copts with the ultimate goal of driving them out of the country.
 
There is also the mishandling of a situation in Port Said that resulted in the deaths of 40 people in only few hours.
 
In the last week the tide of public opinion appears to have turned sharply against Morsi in a way that could seriously threaten his presidency — or at least force him to change the people around him to save power.
 
Here are some other recent examples:
  • Tension has started to rise between Morsi and the military. This became clear when the military destroyed tunnels that the Hamas terrorist group used to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Military leaders know very well that destroying these tunnels will annoy Morsi. This friction was also apparent when Gen. Sedky Sobhy, the Egyptian military’s second in command, said that the military will always side with the Egyptian people — and will be available “in a second” if needed.
  • Morsi tried to pass a law scheduling parliamentary elections in April. This would better allow him to manipulate the results. But many judges have seen such a law as unconstitutional. Despite this, Morsi decided to proceed with the elections. The legal system has challenged Morsi by issuing a statement to cancel the upcoming April elections.
  • New reports in the case of El-Gendy show that the victim died of torture and not a car accident as the earlier report indicated.  Some police officers and soldiers have started to side with the people, and are apparently revolting against Morsi by refusing to obey orders to use violence on demonstrators.   
  • There is an apparent lack of government control in major cities, such as Port Said which also indicates that Morsi is losing power. The people of Port Said and in many other places have started a campaign to give the military authority to rule the country rather than Morsi.
The opposition against Morsi is significant and appears to be occurring at various levels.
 
Unless he makes substantial changes in his policies, President Morsi may face a premature end to his presidency — sooner rather than later.
 
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has also not fared fell with university student unions, which have in the last few decades seen more than 80 percent of seats going to Muslim Brotherhood members. In the past week, Muslim Brotherhood members gained fewer than 10 percent of these seats while more liberal groups won more than 75 percent.
 
Many — if not most — Egyptians probably want to see a military coup to remove Morsi. This may cause a violent reaction by Islamists. Such a reaction can be ameliorated if Morsi loses power via the legal system for breaking his presidential oath.
 
It’s also possible we might see early presidential elections or a referendum to determine if most Egyptians still support Morsi.  
 
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.
 


 
 

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