Egypt’s Power Struggle: Three Things to Know
Videos

Egypt’s Power Struggle: Three Things to Know

November 27, 2012 4:10 pm (EST)

Egypt’s Power Struggle: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video

Mass protests have once again erupted in Egypt following President Mohamed Morsi’s controversial move to eliminate judicial oversight over his presidential powers. Ed Husain, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, highlights three underlying issues at the core of Egypt’s power struggle:

More From Our Experts
  • Morsi’s Motivation – "The Egyptian judiciary has been highly politicized since Mubarak’s days," Husain says, and has been responsible for nullifying an elected lower house of parliament and dismissing the former constitution writing assembly. Morsi claims that his actions were meant to preserve the aims of the revolution by preempting further disruption by the judiciary, Husain emphasizes.

  • Weak Opposition – Much of the reason for Morsi’s successful power grab has been the opposition’s weakness, Husain says. "The opposition parties in Egypt have been highly dysfunctional, deeply confrontational, and lack legitimacy outside their limited political networks, and thus far they’ve failed to articulate a vision."

    More From Our Experts
  • Constitution at Risk – The political infighting is diverting attention from the real issues that should be on the table and being discussed, and "at risk in all of this is the writing of the constitution," Husain cautions. "This is not just a challenge in Egypt but across other Arab spring countries," he says.

Close

Top Stories on CFR

International Organizations

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Qatar, and billions of fans worldwide are tuning in to the world’s most popular live event. And yet as in years past, the Qatar Cup is transpiring under the shadow of controversy.

Middle East and North Africa

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for reform.

COVID-19

Government leaders are optimistic that COVID-19 is becoming endemic, meaning more predictable and manageable. But many scientists say it’s too soon to behave like the pandemic is over.