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.
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

Multimedia Baltimore 'Victory Rally' Follows Charges in Detainee Death

Saturday's rally is largest organized gathering since state's attonrey filed felony charges in police-custody death of Freddie Gray More

UN Denies Child Sex Abuse Cover Up in CAR

UNHCR says senior official suspected of leaking report suspended for breaching rules More

Nepal Officials Slammed Over Aid Response

VOA News has compiled from various organizations complaints from across Nepal of bottlenecks at customs, repeated harassing inspections of aid convoys and seizure of goods More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs