The deadline set by Egypt’s military has arrived — but Egypt’s president is showing no signs of giving in to the demands of millions of protesters who’ve filled the streets calling for his resignation.
Mohammed Morsi is vowing to stay on as president and says his electoral legitimacy is the only safeguard against violence and instability.
Morsi’s Islamist supporters have pledged to resist what they call a coup against democracy.
VIDEO: Is a military coup underway in Egypt? (June 3)
The military has beefed up its presence in the headquarters of state television.
Staffers say troops are monitoring output, but haven’t yet interfered.
The current crisis in Egypt has many critics analyzing the post-Mubarak era and why the country appears to be facing a never-ending revolution.
In an online post on Wednesday, Simon Allison of the Daily Maverick said that in Egypt, the people have spoken.
“Millions of them turned out all over the country in demonstrations that, in their breadth and sheer numbers, made the 2011 Egyptian Revolution look like a service delivery protest that just got a bit out of hand,” wrote Allison.
Allison argued that the post-Mubarak era “has not been kind to Egypt” and that millions of Egyptian protestors can’t agree on much except that they want change, and quickly.
While Allison outlined the country’s dismal economic performance since Mubarak’s ouster in 2011, he also said that it is change that got Egyptians into “this mess in the first place, and change for change’s sake isn’t going to fix any of the country’s existential problems.”
“That one man [President Mohammed Morsi] should be held entirely responsible for Egypt’s current malaise seems unfair, but he’s become a symbol of two years of frustrated hopes, unfulfilled dreams and a lingering if rarely expressed unease over whether the Egyptian Revolution was actually such a good idea,” he wrote.
Marwan Bishara, a senior political analyst at Al Jazeera, said that “the lining up of the revolutionary forces and supporters of the old regime on the one side, versus the new president and his ruling party on the other, has worsened the problem and made it more difficult to ease tensions and redress grievances.”
In his post on Tuesday, Bishara argued that there are a number of reasons why Egypt has descended into this “dangerous political deadlock.”
“President Mohammed Morsi has made several major political miscalculations, including the pseudo-constitutional expansion of his presidential powers that was struck down by the supreme court; his establishment of a government made up mostly of Brotherhood members and their supporters; and lastly, his failure and that of the government to fulfill the minimum expectations that the people had for the revolution in 2011.”
Bishara argued that despite attempts at dialogue between the president and the so-called coalition of major opposition forces or the National Salvation Front, “mistrust and conflicting narratives about the aims of the revolution have eroded the relationship between these previous partners in the revolution to unseat Hosni Mubarak.”
Bishara also said that while those calling for Morsi’s ouster (or for early elections) claim to lead a second revolution, “those supporting the president and the Brotherhood are accusing his detractors of crying foul and mounting a counter-revolution.”
However, “new revolution” and “counter revolution” sound more like “political slogans than representing the political reality of today’s Egypt” wrote Bishara. He said the only “viable option” for Egypt—in the intermediate and long term— is the reversal of the logic that governed the political process over the last two years.
“It begins by having a true national dialogue among equals, i.e. among the political and civic groups representing the Egyptian people and their revolution over the identity, constitution and roadmap of a democratic Egypt,” argued Bishara. “This would necessitate forming a representative forum for such dialogue, along with a transitional government, all of which would pave the way towards a sustainable model of power-sharing in a future Egypt. Alas, easier said than done.”
In an online post for Forbes, Ilan Berman, a foreign policy and national security issues writer, agreed that protesters have a lot to be angry about, but that the Egyptian military’s warning to Morsi that he had two days to “meet the demands of Egyptian people” or it would be forced to intervene to announce a roadmap for the future was “bound to be a tall order.”
Berman said that while it is unclear whether there is a compromise that will satisfy Egypt’s new revolutionaries, the demand “leaves Morsi and his government with very few real choices…and with the clock ticking, loudly.”
© Shaw Media, 2013