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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora