from From the Potomac to the Euphrates and Middle East Program

In Egypt, Lamentations Over a Lost Revolution

June 18, 2012

Blog Post

More on:


Elections and Voting

This excerpt is taken from my article originally published here on Al Monitor on Monday, June 18, 2012. I hope you find it interesting and I look forward to reading your comments. 

By now, even those with just a passing interest in Egyptian politics are aware that last Thursday (June 14), the Supreme Constitutional Court nullified the election of one-third of the seats in the People’s Assembly. According to the Court, the two different methods by which independent and party-affiliated candidates were elected — “first past the post” and proportional representation, respectively — were unconstitutional because they rendered the candidates unequal. The decision threw Egypt’s political arena into turmoil, but that paled in comparison to what happened next.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces stepped in and dissolved the parliament, a power it does not have, and vested itself with legislative responsibility. Twitter feeds and Facebook immediately lit up with cries of “coup” and lamentations over a lost revolution. Still, the military was not done. By Sunday, the officers followed up with an addendum to their March 2011 Constitutional Declaration that effectively subordinates the new Egyptian president to the SCAF.

Despite endless questions about what the military’s actions mean, it should be clear that Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and his commanders were doing everything they could to put Humpty Dumpty back together again while their constitutional decree was a hedge against the possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi would become Egypt’s next president, which now seems likely.

Read the article in its entirety here