Egypt's 'longest' post-coup week

The divided country faces dire straits following the military coup which removed the country's first elected president Morsi from office

Egypt's 'longest' post-coup week

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egypt has entered the lean times after last Wednesday's military coup that removed the country's first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi from office.

Egypt's military ousted President Mohammed Morsi on July 3 after it gave him a 48-hour ultimatum to meet the demands of millions of protesters in the streets seeking his ouster. The country's defense minister and military chief General Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi suspended the constitution and appointed Adly Mansour as interim president.

Morsi "did not meet the demands of the masses," said al-Sisi, whom Morsi appointed as minister of defense and commander of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in August.

However, Morsi resisted the coup and called on all Egyptians to peacefully resist a military coup. He issued a statement rejecting the coup by the military and called on his supporters to resist it, but while ingavoid bloodshed.

US, EU avoid calling Egypt's coup "a coup"

US President Barack Obama said the his country was "deeply concerned" about the Egyptian military's decision to oust Morsi and suspend the nation's constitution.

Avoiding naming the military takeover as a "coup d'etat", Obama said, "I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters." 

Several European countries and institutions also avoided naming the coup as a "coup" but said it was "worrying". 

"Escalation of deadly clashes in Egypt are shocking and horrible. I strongly condemn violence against civilians. Egypt's security forces and all other actors should take responsibility and stop bloodshed," European Parliament Speaker Martin Schulz said in a written statement. 

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, stated an army interference in a country was worrying and said, "Therefore, it will be crucial to quickly reinforce civilian rule in accordance with principles of democracy [...] At this moment of continued high tension and uncertainty in the country, I appeal for calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint."

On the other hand, European Union's (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton urged all sides in Egypt to rapidly return to the democratic process.

“I am following closely developments in Egypt and am fully aware of the deep divisions in society, popular demands for political change and efforts at brokering a compromise," Ashton said. "I urge all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stated in a press release that the recent incidents in Egypt were "a serious setback" for Egyptian democracy and called Egypt to return immediately to its constitutional order. 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was among the countries that backed the army for ending the unrest in the country. 

"The supreme Egyptian army proved that it was a protector and shield for Egypt," said UAE Foreign Minister Abdallah bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan, adding he felt "complete relief".

On the other hand, the United Kingdom was the only country that did not call developments as a coup, but criticized the coup more harshly than the other European countries.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system. The chance of a democratic future was hard won for Egypt by the Egyptian people two and a half years ago. But looking forward, we call on all parties to show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition. It is vital for them to respond to the strong desire of the Egyptian people for faster economic and political progress for their country."

Adly Mahmoud Mansour named interim president of Egypt

The second action of the army was naming Senior Egyptian judge Adly Mahmoud Mansour as the chief of the interim government. 

Mansour became the second interim president in the history of Egypt, and he was the first head of the Constitutional Court, established by late president Anwar Sadat in 1979, to serve as an interim president.

"I was honored to receive my new mission from the only party that has the right to do that: the Egyptian people,” Mansour said following the oath.

Following the military coup several senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party were arrested.

Egyptian judicial authorities officially decided to include ousted Morsi, several leading figures of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wasat Party on a travel ban list.

Prior to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution which toppled Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood had been outlawed and persecuted for six decades.

However, Ali Battih, member of Shura Council of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood stated that the Brotherhood would continue its peaceful protests by saying "the Muslim Brotherhood will not resort to violence to back constitutional no matter what happens."

Contrary to the West, the African Union condemned the military coup in Egypt and suspended Egypt from all activities following the overthrow of the government.

Dissolving the Shura Council

 Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour issued a constitutional declaration, dissolving the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, as well as naming a new intelligence chief.

The two-article declaration dissolved the Islamist-dominated upper house of the parliament, which had the legislative authority since the dissolution of parliament months ago.

It also named Mohamed Ahmed Farid as new intelligence chief, replacing Mohammad Raafat Shehata who was appointed earlier by the interim president as his security advisor.

Pro-Morsi demonstrators fired on in front of Republican Guards headquarters

Fifty-three people were killed and more than 300 others were wounded in front of Republican Guards Headquarters in Cairo when troops opened fire on pro-Morsi protesters Monday.

Muhammad al-Baltaji of the Muslim Brotherhood had said, "while people were performing morning prayer in front of Republican Guards Headquarters, security forces firstly threw tear gas bombs and then opened fire on the protesters."

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters had been shot down, called for an uprising against the coup and accused the military of killing the 53 people.

Reconstruction in Egypt after the military coup

Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour issued a 33-article constitutional declaration to regulate the transitional phase.

The declaration stipulates amending the suspended constitution first, then holding parliamentary elections, then presidential polls.

The president should appoint within two weeks a committee of experts to amend the constitution. They should conclude their task in a period of one month and present their proposals to a 50-member committee representing all sections of society, including at least ten women and youths.

The committee must conclude a final draft of the amendments in 30 days. The amendments come into effect once adopted by the people in a referendum.

The president should call for parliamentary elections within two weeks, and the poll should be held in no more than two months.

Maximum a week after the new parliament comes into session; it should call for presidential elections.

The declaration gives the interim president legislative authority after consulting the government until the new parliament is elected.

The declaration does not set a time ceiling for the end of the transitional phase, but indicates that amending the constitution and holding legislative and presidential poll should be completed in no more than nine months.

Last Mod: 10 Temmuz 2013, 09:32
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