News / Africa

Egypt's President and Military on Collision Course

In this image released by the Egyptian President, an Egyptian military officer salutes President Mohammed Morsi, third from right at a graduation ceremony at a military base east of Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2012.
In this image released by the Egyptian President, an Egyptian military officer salutes President Mohammed Morsi, third from right at a graduation ceremony at a military base east of Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
CAIRO —  Egypt's newly elected president Mohamed Morsi appears on a collision course with the country's powerful military generals after ordering the parliament to reconvene, in defiance of a high court decree last month that dissolved the legislature.

Last month, Egypt's generals dissolved parliament in line with an order from the country's highest court. On Sunday, President Morsi, who was sworn-in only one week ago, decreed that the legislature - which is dominated by his fellow Islamists - should reconvene until a new one has been elected.

He said elections would be held within 60 days of a new constitution being drafted and approved in a referendum, a process that analysts say could take months.

The surprise announcement sent the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces or SCAF into emergency mode, with a hastily called meeting Sunday night that resumed on Monday.

Later on Monday, the Supreme Constitutional Court declared that its ruling on dissolving the parliament was final and binding.

Hafez Abu Saada, a lawyer and head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, says he believes the president could have handled this differently and has now created a politically fraught situation.

He says he believes this could have been dealt with in different ways, but that it is a clash and it could mean the emergence of a kind of cold war between the presidency, the military council and civil forces.

Fahmy Howeidi, a columnist with the independent daily ElShorouk, notes the timing of the president's decree, just days ahead of his first overseas trip and before a visit to Cairo by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I think this decision could have been delayed, but why did he decide to declare or to decide about the parliament before his departure to Saudia? Is he sending a message saying he is the real ruler, not the military? You know that Washington criticized the military for their latest statement [dissolving parliament], so was he encouraged by this criticism, in order to embarrass the military?,” Howeidi said.

Lawyer Abu Saada says President Morsi's decision to challenge a verdict of the Supreme Constitutional Court is unprecedented in modern Egypt -- something that even Hosni Mubarak, Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser never did.

He says the president took an oath to respect the law and the constitution and did so in front of the constitutional court, yet he is the first to violate the rulings of that court. As a result, he says, this is a message to society that you can challenge the verdicts of the judiciary and not respect them.

While no one expected an easy relationship between the army and the conservative Muslim president, most believed Morsi would move more cautiously and not provoke a confrontation with the generals so quickly.

But Fahmy Howeidi is taking a wait-and-see approach. He says private talks are still continuing on all sides and the people must wait a bit longer to see how this first act will play out.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohammad Kamran Umar from: Kabul, Afghanistan
July 10, 2012 2:25 AM
A leopard can change it's skin if you donkeys let him to change...
they Islamists shown to the world that Muslims no longer tolerate the governance of Western Servants and nor they can tolerate the intervien of the western cranks in their internal affairs...
It has got nothing to do with these stupid cranks that they intervene about the execution of a woman on what she has been caught on ...
This is the God 's Sharia Law let to to enforced on anybody who caught on such sin regardless of their rank, color, ethnicity
I am Sure Inshallah one day such Hodods will be implemented not only in Islamic countries but also in European and Western contries that is not far ....

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 09, 2012 2:32 PM
A leopard cannot change its skin. The Arab man only knows rules through the nozzle of a gun and brute force. Look at the jungle justice in Afghanistan and tribal Pakistan, (Morsi will still publicly execute a woman caught in adultery). Civilized justice system is too drab for him, even though you think his education in the West means anything. It's in keeping with the saying that even though you bath a pig and dress it in suite, it must still return to the refuse dump. It's not because US criticized the court dissolution of the house, it's to be true to his type - know only brutal force. And that's what to expect from Egypt henceforth.
In Response

by: Plain Mirror from: Nigeria/Cote d'ivoire
July 10, 2012 4:10 AM
You are right my dear. President Morsi should be wise. He shouldn't be faster than his shadows. Democracy is still a virgin in Egypt and as such Morsi should not make any force trust into into. He should also lead by example by respecting the supreme court. If he fails to do so, then Egypt would likely fall into a Democratic anarchy.
In Response

by: Mike from: USA
July 09, 2012 6:57 PM
You are right, the fox change his hair but not his behavior, the ignorance of the west in Islam that what make them look so dummy in the eye of everyone how comes from middle east or Africa, we know them better, I think it is a time for Obama to kick the 80 some Muslim advisers and replace them with middle eastern Christian and he has to close all the Muslim organization in the USA, if their bylaws and their religion calling to kill every Jewish and Christian, how any government could allow these organization to exist. Would Obama allow any organization that call for the killing of all Muslims where ever you find them to exist in the USA or any part of the world? If Muslim denies that their religion does not say that then they have to change the Koran and make it more human to women and others.
In Response

by: Nad from: Canada
July 09, 2012 6:46 PM
Only a disillusioned nig nog raisin head would think to type a piggish response as you (Godwin) did. You are true as the savage country you live in. Arabs tried to make you African wilted grapes into human-beings . Know your Masters!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs