We Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming…

to bring you all news of what’s going on in Egypt.

There were millions of people on the streets in Egypt the other day, most demanding President Morsi’s resignation and now this:

CAIRO — Egypt’s powerful military warned on Monday it will intervene if the Islamist president doesn’t “meet the people’s demands,” giving him and his opponents two days to reach an agreement, as thousands of protesters massed for a second day calling on Mohammed Morsi to step down.

The 48-hour ultimatum, said the military, was a “last chance.”

The military’s statement, read on state television, puts enormous pressure on Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. So far, the president has vowed he will remain in his position, but the opposition and crowds in the street – who numbered in the millions nationwide on Sunday – have made clear they will accept nothing less than his departure and a transition to early presidential elections.

Any thoughts? Or just lots of fears? Here’s hoping for the best.


4 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Terribly conflicted

    Partly because I had a good friend from high school get caught up in the protests when he visited last year and partly because I am my sure what outcome would work best. Like most of the young Egyptians who protested, my friend was young, highly educated (BS and MS in mechanical engineering from BU), secular and fairly pro-Western in outlook. What was curious is even in high school in Cambridge he was reluctant to criticize Muburak, it was only after that Presidents resignation in Facebook that he came out in favor of his ouster and celebrated.

    Keeping that in mind, Morsi was not who many of these youth wanted. In many ways he represents an Egypt of the past. An Egypt with an ill defined and partly hostile relationship to Israel*, an Egypt
    where homosexuals are rounded up and jailed, an Egypt where Christoans are persecuted and sometimes violently assaulted, and an Egypt where women are still riding the back of the bus in far too many facets of public life.

    Part of me wants the military to restore secular rule, restart the transition and help lass a truly liberal and truly democratic constitution. On the other hand, just read Founding Brothers and feel quite strongly that an elected government can only be peacefully and democratically reformed after a bad governments time is up. To put it another way, I want Morsi’s term to expire along with his leadership and party platform. But I also want an elected President to be orderly succeeded by another.

  2. Philippines or Thailand?

    My worry is that Egypt is going to become like Thailand where a society largely divided by class will trade mass protests as a way of creating change. This undermines the stability of the community and economy as well as the legitimacy of the regime. It seems Thailand finally has a leader with an ear for reconciliation and gentle nationalism (so clearly not Morsi).

    As much as a middle class democrat like me may want a like-minded government in Egypt is that what is on offer? Until Egyptian liberals learn how to organize half as well as theMuslim Brotherhood has done they will only have government with military backing. (They would be well-served to learn some lessons from their Tunisia compatriots on this one.)

    sabutai   @   Tue 2 Jul 8:37 AM
    • Philippines had similar issues too

      Not sure if you were comparing or contrasting but EDSA I overthrew a pro-Western military dictator like Muburak while EDSA II overthrew an unpopular president who people (falsely it turns out) presumed to be corrupt. Protests and sometimes violent action makes sense as a response to the former (dictator) since their is no other recourse but the latter (bad but duly elected incumbent) can only be checked at the ballot box.

  3. The military sees their economic interests threatened.

    Just like they did with Mubarak (whose family was taking too big a slice of the pie). Beyond that, Egypt needs stability to have prosperity. Tourism employs 12% of Egypt’s workforce and that’s a big number that can change rapidly. That terrorist attack in the 90′s on tourists had a devastating effect. Tourism dollars are very mobile.

    The country’s a mess and an Islamic state is not a good result.

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