News / Middle East

Egyptian Islamists, Military Face Off Over Future

An Egyptian supporter of Muslim brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi wearing a shirt with Arabic that reads, "'Mohammed Morsi, president for Egypt" chants slogans in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, June 18, 2012.An Egyptian supporter of Muslim brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi wearing a shirt with Arabic that reads, "'Mohammed Morsi, president for Egypt" chants slogans in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, June 18, 2012.
x
An Egyptian supporter of Muslim brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi wearing a shirt with Arabic that reads, "'Mohammed Morsi, president for Egypt" chants slogans in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, June 18, 2012.
An Egyptian supporter of Muslim brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi wearing a shirt with Arabic that reads, "'Mohammed Morsi, president for Egypt" chants slogans in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, June 18, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott
CAIRO - The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi is poised to become Egypt's first post-revolution president.  With most of the votes counted, the widely-presumed next leader will likely face a power struggle with the nation's military.  
 
The sweeping consolidation of power by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF, almost overshadowed Morsi's claim to victory.  But in a country braced for a win by his rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who also is claiming the lead, both moves took many Egyptians by surprise.
 
After the polls closed Sunday, the SCAF issued a constitutional declaration granting itself legislative powers, control of the economy and the right to pick who will draft the next constitution.  The announcement followed the Supreme Council's formal, court-ordered dissolution of the Islamist-led parliament the day before.
 

Click to view photo gallery

x
  • Egyptians show their inked fingers after casting their votes in Giza, Egypt.
  • A voter prepares to cast his vote at a polling station in Cairo.
  • Ballot counting began after polls closed in Cairo on Sunday.
  • Mohammed Morsi and his supporters celebrate his victory at his campaign headquarters in Cairo, June 18, 2012.
  • Celebrations broke out in Cairo's Tahrir square.
  • Workers uninstall a billboard showing presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Cairo.
  • A Morsi supporter celebrates his victory in Tahrir Square.
  • Morsi supporters celebrated in Tahrir square.
  • A bread seller in Tahrir square, making a victory sign.

Click to view photo gallery

On Monday, with news of Morsi's lead solidifying, the military conveyed it would share in guiding the country.
 
General Mamdouh Shaheen said the SCAF had replaced the parliament and would discuss draft laws with the new president.  He described the process as a balance between the Supreme Council and the head of state.
 
Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, or FJP, appeared ready to push back against the military's newly-acquired powers, which came only two weeks before the SCAF had promised to hand over power to civilian rule.
 
Egypt's Interim Constitution Declaration
 
  • Published by ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on June 17
  • Amends the council's Constitutional Declaration of March 2011
  • Requires next president to take oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court because parliament is dissolved
  • Gives Supreme Council of the Armed Forces authority over all affairs of the military
  • Makes council chairman, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, armed forces commander, defense minister
  • Gives military leaders power to appoint panel to draft new constitution
  • Postpones new parliamentary elections until new constitution is approved
  • Grants military leaders powers to initiate legislation until new parliament elected
Some members of the FJP-dominated parliament have refused to recognize the ruling disbanding it.  Some have vowed to stage protests or try to enter the building on Tuesday.  Security forces have surrounded the parliament.
 
At a news conference on Monday, Morsi called for calm. Morsi said he is seeking stability and love in a civic, national democratic and modern state.
 
Ahmed Shafiq's campaign said their candidate has a slight lead and that Morsi had hijacked the election. 
 
Voter turnout in the runoff election was low, an apparent sign of little enthusiasm about the two candidates, neither of whom many voters say represents their vision for Egypt's future. 
 
For many of the people who took part in last year's uprising, the choice was particularly grim, prompting some to boycott the vote or go to polls and nullify their ballots.
 
Cairo University political scientist Hassan Nafaa says the problem is that the military has shown little acknowledgement of last year's protests.

"The thing is whether you under recognize that there has been a big revolution in this country or not; and what are the needs, what are the mistakes committed by the old regime?  If you draw these kinds of lessons and you try to redress the situation, maybe you will succeed.  But they have a set of mind that is not capable of drawing the right lessons," he said. 

Watch the interview with Hassan Nafaa


 
The potential showdown between the two major forces in Egypt of the past half-century,  the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, have many people concerned about something similar to the Algerian civil war of the 1990s, when an Islamist victory at the polls was canceled.
 
But Hassan Nafaa says the military, which is seen by many people here as a guarantor of stability, would not engage in armed conflict with fellow Egyptians. "I don't think there will be a repetition of what happened in Algeria in Egypt.  It is a different country and a different mentality and a different balance of forces," he said. 
 
Nafaa does not rule out the possibility of some violence in the wake of the election, but he says the biggest fight will be a political power struggle. 
 
The SCAF's declaration lays out a timeframe for writing the constitution and holding new elections for parliament - raising the possibility that Egypt's political limbo, now 16 months old, could continue until the end of the year.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Daud from: Nairobi
June 18, 2012 8:21 PM
I hope that the Egyptian people able to solve the political situations and the violence actions, which stands on their country.
I think it is the time of consolidation and finishing the misagreement among them, I also hope these people have enough experience and sophistication. I say, do struggle

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid