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The Sins Of Morsi - Foreign Affairs - Nairaland

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The Sins Of Morsi by vascey(m): 8:24am On Jul 04, 2013
Mohammed Morsi, a member the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, was sworn in as Egypt’s president on June 30, 2012. One year later, an unprecedented number of Egyptians have taken to the streets across the country to demand the resignation of the first democratically elected president Egypt has ever known. Morsi’s presidency has been beset by stumbles, mass protests, and missed opportunities. Here is a list of the top 10 blunders:

1. Running for office in the first place: The Muslim Brotherhood promised not to field a candidate for presidential elections early on after Hosni Mubarak was toppled, but when the time came, Morsi’s name was on the ballot. The Brotherhood’s having gone back on its word so quickly was seen by its opponents as a harbinger of things to come.

2. A complete inability—alternately seen as a lack of desire—to create an inclusive government: Morsi came to office on the narrowest of margins, winning only 51.7 percent of the vote in a second round runoff. After taking office, he was unable, or some say unwilling, to find figures from across the political spectrum to join his cabinet. Instead the Brotherhood played majoritarian politics. After winning both parliamentary and presidential elections, it governed without coalitions, pushing its agenda despite opposition.

3. Morsi and the Military: Egypt’s well-respected military has long held the reigns of power in the country, on stage and behind the scenes. All three previous presidents of the Arab Republic hailed from its ranks. After president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11 2011, the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces took over the country, passing an addendum to the constitutional declaration that granted itself legislative powers, a substantive role in drafting the constitution, and limitations on the powers of the new president. On Aug. 12, 2012, Morsi repealed the SCAF addendum and ordered the retirement of the two most senior members of the SCAF, replacing them with men thought to be more loyal to him. He was obviously wrong. The country’s new constitution failed to curb the powerful generals, and Morsi never took the military out of politics, even if he gave the appearance he had done so.

4. The epic mess of drafting and passing Egypt’s new constitution: The constituent assembly tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution under SCAF had been plagued by infighting and legal challenges. On Nov. 22, 2012, Morsi unilaterally issued his own constitutional declaration that made his decrees immune from judicial oversight until the passage of a new constitution, and he dismissed the sitting public prosecutor in hopes of pushing through a new constitution. Egyptians took to the streets to protest Morsi’s moves. Meanwhile, Brotherhood delegates on what remained of the constituent assembly rammed through a hastily drafted version, followed by a national referendum. Critics complained that the new document did little to protect freedom of expression and minority and women’s rights. Morsi’s actions looked like a ploy to keep the opposition out and Islamize Egypt with his backers.

5. Failure to reform the state’s security apparatus: The hated police that brought people to the streets under Mubarak were never purged or reformed. The security services and the Interior Ministry stayed intact, but they either would not or could not enforce public order. Petty crime went up and people waited in vain for the security Morsi promised to bring.

6. The price of bread: When people took to the streets to protest Mubarak they demanded “bread, freedom, and social justice!” The Brotherhood had campaigned heavily on promises to fix the country’s battered economy and a general optimism over this prospect existed, even among detractors. As a banned organization, the Brotherhood had built its popularity by providing social services the government did not. Instead, inflation rose and the price of basic goods—bread, tomatoes, meat, chicken, and cigarettes—increased. The Egyptian economy floundered under Morsi’s watch. The heatedly debated IMF loan never came.

7. The opposition’s ineptitude only furthered the Brotherhood’s mistakes: There was a distinct perception atop the government that the enemies of Brotherhood rule were everywhere. In response, Morsi and the Brotherhood circled wagons. For its part, Egypt’s fractured opposition was never able to create a united front offering viable political alternatives to the Islamists’ rule. Most protesters agreed only on demanding an end to something instead of a charter of programs. So when it came time to deal with the opposition, the Brotherhood stuck to its path, never negotiating—partly because there was no one to negotiate with.

8. Sectarian violence: Under Morsi, the country’s Christian minority has complained of increased sectarian strife which, while not uncommon, certainly had occurred less frequently under Mubarak. Whether this is due to the inaction of the security services or the Brotherhood’s alliances with more vocal fundamentalist groups that think they have free rein on Egypt’s streets, the public blames Morsi.

9. The media: Freedom of expression was tightened under Morsi’s term. The Brotherhood’s errors became a target of the private media. The movement responded with open aggression. Independent media outlets were threatened with closure, journalists were investigated for insulting the president, and some were brought into court while others were threatened and tortured.

10. Electricity and fuel: The final impetus to the Sunday protest. By June 30, chronic gasoline shortages were common all over the country, while electricity cuts and rolling blackouts were the norm. Egypt’s sweltering summer found people in gas station queues and bread lines or at home, without fans or air conditioning, when the power went out. The exasperations of daily life stoked the country’s fury, and people took to the street.

Topol is a Bloomberg Businessweek contributor.


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Re: The Sins Of Morsi by Occurstaem(m): 8:52am On Jul 04, 2013
Re: The Sins Of Morsi by deeobserver209(m): 8:58am On Jul 04, 2013
Even though I don't condone military coup the ouster of President Morsi was what the people want. Government is for the people not to some few individuals. The Muslim brotherhood tried to exclude the opposition and create a sort of civilian dictatorship. That is not a way to go. The Egyptian people irrespective of their religion, ethnicity and background deserve quality representation. Their rights must be protected.
I always maintain that governance must be not be mixed with religion. It will only breed out religious bigotry and criminality. That is the mistake Nigeria is currently doing. We have allowed religion into politics. The results are there for everyone to see. The federal government has no business sending people to the Holy lands in Israel and Saudi Arabia with tax payers money. The federal government has no business building almajiri schools for a particular religion. The government has no business building places of worship with tax payers fund. These are some of the biggest mistake ever done in Nigeria. As a circular country the federal and state governments has no business partaking religious activities.
Unless we root religion out of politics and government, Nigeria could be an its way to anarchy.

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Re: The Sins Of Morsi by dadicvila(m): 1:45pm On Jul 04, 2013
Another angle I view the Morsi removal from is the security of Israel,with Morsi in charge Terrorist elements in the Gaza strip might be empowered to attack Israel and the IDF will have no choice than crossing into Gaza or even Sinai which will lead to Military build up in Egypt,the Egyptian Military under Morsi will definitely respond with aggression and that's the end of Camp David's Accord....simply put,the security of Israel can not be guaranteed with an Islamist in power in Egypt...we all know the deep hatred the Muslim brotherhood have for the state of Israel and Jews in general

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Re: The Sins Of Morsi by vascey(m): 4:03pm On Jul 04, 2013
Democracy has been promoted by the west like it is a ferry tale. Adopt democracy and all your problems are over. But that is not true. I like democracy because I want to be heard and by virtue of my origin (igbo) we are historically democratic.

But it does not work everywhere. You have to take into consideration the cultures of a people. Or if after 20 years of military rule, you adopt democracy, then someone should be there to guide you, to teach you. This is what Fela sang about.

This is where the Egyptians got it wrong. To be have a successful democratic environment, you have to pay your dues. You have to show restraint and maturity in order to help the system grow.

You cannot get this by truncating democracy after one year of trial. And people say it is what "the people" want. That is fine. The people have to sit down and define their needs clearly. When you sit on your side of the fence, you think it is greener on the other side. And that is not always the case.

Showing restraint implies investing in the democratic institutions. That is what makes it democracy.

If a man wins his mandate clean and square, then you should blame yourself for voting him when he goes wrong. The Egyptians need to mature and take responsibility for their actions. It doesn't stop at revolutions.

Their action is unfair to Morsi, unfair to their country and unfair to their children unborn. Let us pray that the situation does not degenerate into another civil war in Africa.

God help us all.

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