Egypt military ousts Morsi, suspends constitution

The Egyptian military on July 3 deposed President Mohamed Morsi, suspended the nation's constitution, and installed an interim government headed by High Constitutional Court judge Adly Mansour. Protests had erupted throughout Egypt over the weekend calling for Morsi's resignation for his alleged failure to address economic and security issues during his one-year tenure as president. The military announced its plans to overthrow Morsi early in the day, and by the late afternoon soldiers and tanks surrounded the presidential palace where thousands of Morsi's supporters had gathered. Thereafter, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially declared Morsi's removal from office. Morsi condemned the military's actions as an unjustified and illegitimate coup that he rejects. An aide in the Office of Assistant to the President of Egypt on Foreign Relations responded to the military's actions as they occurred:

For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let's call what is happening by its real name: Military coup…It has been two and a half years after a popular revolution against a dictatorship that had strangled and drained Egypt for 30 years. That revolution restored a sense of hope and fired up Egyptians' dreams of a future in which they could claim for themselves the same dignity that is every human being's birthright…Today only one thing matters. In this day and age no military coup can succeed in the face of sizeable popular force without considerable bloodshed. Who among you is ready to shoulder that blame?…There are still people in Egypt who believe in their right to make a democratic choice. Hundreds of thousands of them have gathered in support of democracy and the Presidency. And they will not leave in the face of this attack. To move them, there will have to be violence. It will either come from the army, the police, or the hired mercenaries. Either way there will be considerable bloodshed. And the message will resonate throughout the Muslim World loud and clear: democracy is not for Muslims…The silence of all of those voices with an impending military coup is hypocritical and that hypocrisy will not be lost on a large swathe of Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims.

The military announced plans to hold elections in the near future. Mansour will be sworn in July 4.

From Jurist, July 3. Used with permisison.

  1. ElBaradei as interim prime minister
    The Independent reports that Mohamed ElBaradei has been named as interim pirme minister. With Egypt seemingly caught between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, maybe he can chart a course towards a political order that is both secular and democratic. He was a leader of the 2011 revolution that ousted Mubarak, but, as his Wikipedia page notes, declined to run in the following year’s presidential election. Perhaps now, brought to power by circumstance rather than ambition, he will have the moral authority to bring the country back form the brink of either Islamist or military dictatorship…

  2. ElBaradei defends repression
    Ominous. In the New York Times today, ElBaradei defends the sweeps now underway of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and the closure of what the Times calls “Islamist satellite networks.” (Does this include Al Jazeera, which Reuters tells us had its studio raided?) ElBaradei said the stations “have been calling for vengeance and murder and incitement to kill, so they have to shut them down for a while,” and that in some raided stations “there were weapons.”

    This sounds like it could be a recipe for allowing the Brotherhood to recover its lost status as champion of the opressed rather than opressor…