Tahrir Square rumbles against the new Dictator

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 28, 2012

A new version of an Arab revolution seems to be brewing in Egypt. Right after the people thought a new beginning was right on the horizon, suddenly the new puppet in chief showed his teeth for the disappointment of many of those who helped elect him.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested on Tuesday and Wednesday against President Mohamed Morsi in one of the largest demonstrations since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, accusing the Islamist leader of seeking to impose a new autocracy. Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths in streets near Tahrir Square in Cairo, the center of the revolt that toppled Mubarak last year.

Clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of Morsi in a town north of Cairo. But violence could not overshadow the show of force which involves both opponents and supporters of the Islamists in power. The latest round of revolts is the biggest challenge for Morsi in his five months in office.

“The people want to topple the regime,” chanted the demonstrators, repeating phrases used in the uprising of 2011. There were also protests in Alexandria, Suez, Minya and Nile Delta cities. The protest organized by leftist groups, liberals and socialists marks an escalation in the worst crisis since the election last June, which exposes divisions inside the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and its rivals.

A 52-year-old protester died after inhaling the gas, the second fatality since Morsi announced last week that he had expanded the decree powers to prevent legal challenges to any of his decisions. The Morsi Government has defended the decree as an effort to speed up reforms and complete the transition to democracy. Opponents accuse him of behaving like a modern pharaoh. United States, a great benefactor of the Egyptian army, has expressed concern, fearing more turmoil in a country that has a crucial peace treaty with Israel.

“We do not want a dictatorship again. Mubarak’s regime was a dictatorship. We’ve had a revolution to bring justice and freedom,” said Ahmed Husseini, 32. The split opposition groups composed by Egyptian Islamist not have joined in the streets, and have yet to build an electoral machine to challenge the well-organized Islamists.

“There are signs that in the last couple of days, Morsi and the Brothers have realized their mistake,” said Elijah Zarwan, a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, adding that the protests were “a clear illustration that this was a political miscalculation. ”

The Morsi measure provoked a rebellion among judges and knocked confidence in an economy struggling to recover from two years of turmoil. The president has yet to implement unpopular measures to contain the country’s crushing budget deficit, necessary to complete an agreement for a loan of 4,800 million from the International Monetary Fund.

Mursi Supporters and opponents clashed with stones and firebombs thrown some in the city of Mahalla el Kubra in the Nile Delta. Medical sources said that nearly 200 people were injured. “The main demand is the withdrawal of the constitutional declaration (the decree). This is the point,” said Amr Moussa, former Arab League chief and presidential candidate who joined the new opposition coalition called the National Salvation Front.

The group includes several leading liberal politicians. Some scholars of the prestigious al-Azhar Mosque and University joined the demonstrations on Tuesday, showing that Morsi and his supporters have alienated some more moderate Muslims. Members of the large minority of Egyptian Christians also joined.

In Washington, the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, urged protesters to behave peacefully. “The current situation is an internal  constitutional dispute in Egypt and can only be decided by the Egyptian people through democratic peaceful dialogue,” he told reporters. Human Rights Watch said that the text gives more power to Morsi of the military junta that is in control of the country. This new regime is supported by the western oppressors who helped take down their long-term puppet, Hosni Mubarak.

The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon told an Austrian newspaper that he encouraged Mursi to resolve the issue through dialogue. In an attempt to ease tensions with the judges who were outraged by his decree, Morsi said to the high court that the fragments of his decree on the immunity of their decisions will be implemented only on issues of importance regarding Egyptian “sovereignty”.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Egyptians say NO to new Dictator

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 23, 2012

The opposition of the Egyptians to having a new puppet dictator did not take long to appear. The streets of Cairo and other cities resounded with the force that helped topple dictator Hosni Mubarak. The message is now directed to recently elected Mohamed Morsi, who wants to ensure his presence in government for much more time than everyone else expected. After passing a package of measures that he deems relevant to turn true some of his campaign promises, thousands of Egyptians fear Morsi will remain forever in power, especially after signing a ‘constitutional’ statement which places him above the law.

The “decree” that Morsi issued became the spark of yet another flammable round of protests that threatens to divide even more the two most powerful groups in Egypt: the Islamists and the secular. In several localities clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents broke the period of relative stability after the elections.  In at least three cities, Alexandria, Port and Ismailiya, protesters torched offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, the president’s party.

In the capital, the street marches began and ended without serious incidents, except for some skirmishes with police in Tahrir, where police used tear gas against protestors. The main opposition leaders, who are also West-controlled puppets, Mohamed El Baradei, and Hamdin Sabahi, the presidential candidate who finished third, took part in the demonstrations.

ElBaradei, founder of the new Constitution Party, called Morsi the “new king” after learning about the decree. “He has usurped all state power: a blow to the revolution that can have serious consequences,” the former diplomat wrote in his Twitter account. Some constitutional law professors have come to describe the movement as a “coup”.

In contrast, Islamist formations, both Salafists as the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, have come out in defense of the president. Thousands of Islamists gathered outside the gates of the presidential palace to express their support to President Morsi.

Early in the afternoon, the Morsi addressed his followers on a nationwide public television message issued from a stage in which there was a large picture of him. “The old regime is paying to attack government buildings and sow chaos,” proclaimed Morsi, who said that the role of what he called the ‘real opposition’ was important. “They want to obstruct the revolution, but do not let them do so … My decision today is to compensate those injured in the revolution,” Morsi said.

As for his decree, he denied wanting to break laws, and justified it with arguments such as seeking stability and purge of counterrevolutionary elements in the judiciary.

Until yesterday, Morsi had control of the Executive, Legislative and Constituent Assembly. After relieving the army leadership in August, the only institution hostile to his reign was the judiciary. So with the new constitutional declaration, submitted to the judiciary authority, Morsi has now seriously undermined the central pillar of the weak rule of law in post revolutionary Egypt.

According to the text, none of the decisions, decrees or laws approved by the him since his inauguration may be revoked by another state institution, including the judiciary. Morsi said there are those “who hide behind the judges” to derail the transition to democracy. “I do not like or want to use exceptional procedures, but if I see that my country is in danger I will, because it is my duty,” he said. “We respect justice, because in it there are many individuals who are clean, but we are against those who hide behind it.

Moreover, the Islamist leader shielded the Constituent Assembly and the Senate, both threatened with dissolution by three requests being considered by the Constitutional Court. Morsi also extended to two months the time available for the Constituent Committee to draft the new constitution, which was supposed to expire in early December.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.