News / Middle East

Egypt's High Court Proposed As Crisis Solution

Anti-President Mohamed Morsi protesters watch a speech by him on TV at a cafe in Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 2, 2013.
Anti-President Mohamed Morsi protesters watch a speech by him on TV at a cafe in Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 2, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty
— Egypt’s opposition parties appear to be united in their demand for President Mohamed Morsi to step down, according to a noted Middle East analyst, but they are not unified on how he should be replaced.

Nezar Al-Sayyad, chair of the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, says a large percentage of the protesters want to remove Morsi from office, but they fear the alternative, which is military rule.
 
At the same time, Al-Sayyad says, the demonstrators need the military to force president Morsi from power.

“That is an impossible equation because for them to remove Morsi, they need the military,” he said.

Al-Sayyad said the only workable succession plan is one that is being floated by some of the anti-Morsi forces. It calls for the president to be removed, then replaced temporarily by the head of Egypt’s Constitutional Court under semi-military rule.
Butty interview with Al-Sayyad
Butty interview with Al-Sayyadi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Egypt's Constitutional Court would be in charge of coming up with a committee to draft a new constitution that would be approved by public vote and for general elections within three months. For now, Al-Sayyad said, Egypt finds itself in a stalemate.

“What is going right now in Egypt is a tremendous degree of confusion, basically between the president and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in Egypt [SCAF],” Al-Sayyad said.

“The military has actually been on the sidelines since they handed power to Morsi more than a year ago,” he added. “It seems that they are now coming back into the picture by having issued an ultimatum to him to basically respond to the popular demand of the millions who are demonstrating in the streets.

Ultimatum deadline is Wednesday

The military issued its ultimatum on Monday, saying Morsi had to reach a deal with the opposition by Wednesday or the Army would step in with its own plan.
 
“As you know, Morsi has categorically rejected the military’s ultimatum, invoking that he is the supreme commander of the armed forces,” Al-Sayyad concluded.

Late Tuesday night, Morsi went on national television and said he was democratically elected a year ago and had no intention of resigning. He called on the Army to go back to its barracks. Al-Sayyad conceded that while Morsi was democratically elected, he won by by a very slim majority.
    
“In fact his [Morsi’s] election was probably as much contested as the election that brought George W. Bush to the presidency over Al Gore,” he said of the U.S. presidential balloting in 2000.

Al-Sayyad said a big problem for Egypt's opposition is that its various components are not agreed on what comes after Morsi.

“They have different alternatives, and hence, they are not united in what happens after they remove Morsi,” Al-Sayyad said.

Constitutional Court plan endorsed

Al-Sayyad said the Constitutional Court proposal seems to be the only workable succession plan put forth by any opposition forces.

“They actually have a plan, and it’s a very sensible plan,” he said. “Their plan is that the head of the Constitutional Court can rule temporarily under some kind of military rule in which the military will secure the streets and bring back security.”
    
Then, he said, the Constitutional Court would “be in charge of coming up with a committee that will redraft the constitution for a vote by the public and for elections within a limited period of time of only three months.”
    
President Barack Obama has said the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and has not sided with any particular political group there.

Al-Sayyad said some Egyptians are interpreting Obama’s statement as standing behind Morsi because he is the elected leader of Egypt. But the analyst said the problem with that is that Morsi has lost all legitimacy with millions of Egyptians.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid