News / Middle East

US Concerned by Egyptian Military Moves

An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
x
An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
The United States is expressing concern about the Egyptian military’s move to limit the new president’s powers and expand its own.

Both the U.S. State Department and the Defense Department weighed in Monday on the new Constitutional Declaration issued by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which observers say makes the country’s incoming leader largely ceremonial.

“We believe Egypt’s transition must continue and that Egypt is made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement. “We have, and will continue, to urge the SCAF to relinquish power to civilian-elected authorities and to respect the universal rights of the Egyptian people and the rule of law.”

Final results from Egypt’s presidential runoff election are not expected until later this week, but Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has already claimed victory over Ahmed Shafiq, an ally of former president Hosni Mubarak. Shafiq's campaign says he is ahead.

As the polls closed and early results from Saturday and Sunday’s vote began to show Morsi in the lead, the SCAF declared the new president would not have power over the military, and the ruling military council would have the right to pass laws until a new parliament is sworn in.

The move follows a Supreme Court decision last week to dissolve the Egyptian parliament, where the Islamist party had held a majority. Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other activists who joined the revolution that forced longtime leader Mubarak to step down last year are accusing the military of carrying out a "soft coup."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. is “particularly concerned” by decisions that appear to prolong the military's hold on power.

“This is a critical moment in Egypt, and the world is watching closely,” Nuland said, adding “there can be no going back on the democratic transition.”

“The United States stands with the Egyptian people in their aspiration to choose their own leaders," she said, quoting the sentiments of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Nuland said the U.S. is calling on the SCAF to restore popular and international confidence in the democratic transition process by following through on their commitments.

That includes, she said, an inclusive constitutional drafting process, the timely seating of a democratically-elected parliament, and the swift, permanent transfer of power to a civilian government.

The SCAF pushed back Monday against accusations that it is overstepping its authority and suggested the situation had been exaggerated. 

During a press conference in Cairo, Major General Mamdouh Shahin said the military council’s amendments to its previous Constitutional Declaration were to ensure that no particular person had authority over Egypt’s legislative and executive branches. He said the president would still have the ability to veto laws.

 

The U.S. has provided billions in military aid to Egypt over three decades of close relations. The Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. wants that relationship to continue, but that it will be closely monitoring the SCAF’s next moves.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid