Feature

Egypt: A revolution reversed

The Egyptian counterrevolution is complete. Will Egyptians renew their resistance?

The Egyptian counterrevolution is complete, said Larbi Sadiki in AlJazeera.com. The judiciary, appointed by the ousted Mubarak regime, has made “a mockery of the democratic process” with its ruling that last winter’s historic parliamentary elections were illegitimate and that the parliament must be dissolved. And the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces followed up with what amounts to a coup by altering the constitution to give the military almost total power. But the Egyptian people will not knuckle under meekly. “Renewed resistance from below for freedom and dignity in Tahrir Square, as well as other people’s arenas, could still decide the law of the land.”

So it’s back to the streets, said Ahmed Ezzat in Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt). It’s obvious that “those in positions of power”—both the SCAF and, to a lesser extent, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose candidate, Mohammed Mursi, won the presidential runoff this week—“will turn their backs on the goals of the revolution and get busy dividing power and writing the constitution.” The revolutionary forces will have to continue their struggle, but in a smarter way and with long-term change in mind. Simply occupying Tahrir Square won’t do it. Revolutionaries can only really mobilize all Egyptians if they “prioritize the social and economic demands of the people and link them to the political and democratic goals of the revolution.” Stop being so “elitist and incoherent” and start operating as a real political movement.

This week should have been an Islamist triumph, said Ali Totmaj in Hemayat (Iran). For the first time, a majority of Egyptians freely chose the Muslim Brotherhood candidate to lead them. But since the military has effective control of the legislature and the judiciary and has stripped the executive branch of authority, incoming President Mursi will have no power to enact any of the reforms the people want. Mursi is doomed to “a heavy failure,” and the generals’ monopoly on power will be complete. 

There’s still a wild card: the rest of the army, said Majdi Hilmi in Al-Wafd (Egypt). Thanks to the “constitutional coup,” the SCAF may hold all the power, but that military junta “has failed in all the tasks the people assigned to it and instead led to a spiral of political uncertainty and chaos in all walks of life.” Lower-ranking army officers are not immune to this discontent. We could well see a second coup, this time a military coup that sweeps the generals from power—only to install new ones in their place. 

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