News / Africa

Public Outcry Causes Egypt’s Cabinet to Drop Proposal for New Constitution

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Douglas Mpuga

In Egypt, a public outcry has led the cabinet to drop a proposal for the new constitution that would have shielded the army from parliamentary oversight.

The planned change would have given the ruling military council exclusive authority to approve any legislation on the army’s internal affairs.

Military men have ruled Egypt since a 1952 military coup. The military council took power after President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown by a popular revolt on February 11.

“The current cabinet is an ally of the military council,” said Walid Phares, an expert on the Middle East and author of The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East.

He said the council is trying to strike a balance between the forthcoming government, which he said will probably be a coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood on one hand and those who will become the next opposition [secular and minorities] on the other.

“The current cabinet wants to ensure that when the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power, they won’t have the ability to either dismantle the secular body of the army or put pressure on them,” said Phares.

“It’s a triangle of struggle,” he added, “In the center you have the military, the Muslim brotherhood on one hand, and the secular and Coptic minority on the other.”

Phares said since the downfall of [Hosni] Mubarak, the military council has been moving to ensure that whoever will next come to power won’t have enough strength to dismantle the power of the military.

In addition, he said, they [military] have tried  to establish good ties with the United States to ensure continued financial aid.

“I believe that there is an agreement between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.  “The military will not go against the Brotherhood but they [military] want to set the limits.”

Phares said the military now controls the economic and financial nerve center of the country in addition to the national security and the political process.

“But the military is likely to lose the political process after the elections,” he said, “...so the battle of today is really for tomorrow. They [military] are trying to have an insurance policy that whoever will come in power in the future does not go against them.”

He said the actual pioneers of the revolution [youths, women, labor unions, middle class, civil society] – those who actually rose against Mubarak – have been bypassed by Islamists and allies of pan-Arabists. “They are frustrated because they feel they are caught in a political game between the Islamists and militarists.”

“The problem of those youths and civil society,” said Phares, “is that they did not have enough time to organize their new reformist democratic parties, so they have to play the role of the next opposition.”

Parliamentary elections are set to start on November 28 and last until March.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid