Friday, June 29, 2012

The three pillars of Egypt

The revolution is now a presidency, a parliament and a square. The Arab spring was never stronger

Wadah Khanfar, Thursday 28 June 2012

"....Everything changed when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) thought that the revolution had ended and that the time was ripe for a coup. It issued five decrees, including the dissolution of parliament and the creation of a constitution transferring legislative power to the military council. An enforcement law allowed members of the armed forces to arrest civilians.

Shortly before the second run-off, when it became clear to Scaf that Morsi was about to win, it hastened to issue two further decrees: the first forming a secretariat that curtailed the powers of the president, and the second creating a higher council for defence, to be staffed mainly by military personnel.

The military's decisions infuriated the Egyptian public, and the wider Arab world. In a strange way, however, they also benefited the Brotherhood and the revolutionary forces, rescuing them from their growing disarray. They helped them overcome internal divisions and form an understanding......

Morsi being declared president means that the revolution now has three institutions: the presidency, the parliament and the square. Two of them, the parliament and the presidency, are consistent with the legitimacy of the democratic elections. As for the square, it has its own revolutionary legitimacy. The destiny of the three is intertwined.

This is what prompted the revolutionaries to continue with their sit-in, even after Morsi's presidency was announced. The confrontation with Scaf is not over: it has merely entered a new phase, in which the people appear to be armed for the first time with both determination and legitimacy. The Arab spring is stronger today than at any time in its history; in not only Egypt, but also the entire Arab world.....

To the people in the street, the rest of the world's reaction has merely confirmed their suspicions, namely that western governments still indulge in double standards in their approach to the democratic changes in the Arab world. The region's people still recall the staunch support those countries lent to tyrannical regimes for decades....."

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