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January 11, 2013

January 25: Reclaiming back the revolution

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Elmasry

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On January 25, no one knows what will come of Egypt's two year old revolution. But many Egyptians for sure know that a great robbery of their revolution has taken place and are determine to reclaim it back.

The revolution was not started by Islamists but they manage to robe the masses their revolution and to turn their dream to achieve freedom, democracy, economical development and social justice into a nightmare.

In their fanatical managing of the country the Muslim Brotherhood has divided Egypt into two groups; a militant extremist minority lead by an Islamist president and his MB group and a majority which includes everyone else; most of the middle class, academia, farmers, journalists, artists, students, lawyers, judges, Christians, Muslim moderates and opposition parties.

Morsi pushed through a drafting committee an Islamist constitution against the will of the masses and he has considered it accepted in a referendum even when less than 20% of the registered voters have approved it. The referendum was held at the time when Morsi was having full executive and legislative powers and had given himself extra dictatorial powers beyond any judicial oversights.

Under the new constitution, the Upper House of parliament, called Shura Council is now serving as the law-making body until a new legislating lower house is elected within a few months.

Morsi has appointed one third of the members of the Upper House just 48 hours before the new constitution was approved (the new constitution states that the president has the right to appoint only 10% of the members). Now over 70% of the members are extreme Islamists mostly from the MB and their allied ultraconservative Salafis – all are busy now passing laws to curtail press freedom and Egyptians’ rights to assemble.

The committee which drafted the constitution and how was it formed and the upper house itself and how it was elected were challenged at the Supreme Court level two months ago but the court suspended its hearings as Morsi’s supporters with his blessings, in the first time in Egypt’s history, held the court building under siege.

While he was busy maximising his grab of power, Morsi never paid attention to Egypt’s short term or long term severe economic problems. 

The central bank announced that it has a reserve in hard currency of 12 billion dollars just to cover imports for only 3 months. And the Egyptian pound is fast losing ground to the American dollar causing some 20% inflation as the country imports 70% of its needs.

Morsi’s government has requested a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to bridge the budget deficit but Standard & Poor downgraded Egypt’s long-term credit rating one level this week to B-, six steps below investment grade.

However Morsi is counting on the Americans to press soon the IMF and Gulf Arab countries to lend Egypt what it needs.

The Americans are happy with Morsi as he follows their five demands: not to say any negative retrotric against Israel, not to re-establish diplomatic relation with Iran, to support the rebels in Syria, to ignore the civil unrest in Bahrain and not to give political refugee status to Sudan’s Islamist president.

Morsi has no long range plan and no milestones to put Egypt on the road towards economic development and social justice as the leaders in six countries I studied did years ago; India, China, Malaysia, Turkey, South Africa and Brazil.

Egypt is facing big problems and Morsi’s answers are like that: it is not our fault, we have inherited these problems and we blame the opposition for the political instability and the independent media for the negative reporting of our 6-month record in office.

For example it is predicted that there will be zero agricultural land in Egypt within 183 years from now as Egyptians keep building on Arable lands around Nile River.

But Morsi, like any dictator warned the opposition against any unrest in his first address before the newly convened Upper House of parliament last Saturday, urging the opposition to work with his government – the same opposition who has accused its leaders two weeks earlier to conspire to topple him then kidnap him and take him to Qatar.

He was not sincere when he told the 270-member Upper House that “We condemn and reject all forms of violence by individuals, groups, institutions and even from the nation and its government,” as his MB group and its supporters participated in violence against the anti-Morsi rallies. The worst violence came in clashes outside the presidential palace in Cairo that killed 10 people when Islamists attacked a peaceful sit-in.

How much blood will flow on January 25 when the people will try to reclaim their revolution is anyone’s guess.

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M. Elmasry

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