Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Military Coup Is Also A "Transition"

Ex-President Mubarak has one foot in the grave - how many weeks has he been in a coma now? - but even so he may outlive the political movement that displaced him from power.

March Lynch, in Abu Aardvark's Middle East Blog, says That's It For Egypt's So-Called Transition:

But today's moves by the Constitutional Court on behalf of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) seem difficult to overcome and likely to push Egypt onto a dangerous new path. With Egypt looking ahead to no parliament, no constitution, and a deeply divisive new president, it's fair to say the experiment in military-led transition has come to its disappointing end.

-- snip --

Today, Egypt's constitutional court delivered the coup de grace by refusing to disqualify Mubarak's former prime minister Ahmed Shafik from the race and effectively dissolving the elected parliament by declaring the individual election of one-third of its members illegal. The former decision was probably the right one, to be frank, though it was a missed opportunity for a "hail Mary" political reset. But the latter was absurd, destructive, and essentially voids Egypt's last year of politics of meaning. Weeks before the SCAF's scheduled handover of power, Egypt now finds itself with no parliament, no constitution (or even a process for drafting one), and a divisive presidential election with no hope of producing a legitimate, consensus-elected leadership. Its judiciary has become a bad joke, with any pretence of political independence from the military shattered beyond repair.

-- snip --

The SCAF, in other words, may look to have won this seemingly decisive round. But it's not the endgame. It's only the beginning of a new phase of a horribly mismanaged "transition" that is coming to its well-earned end. What's next? A replay of Algeria in 1991? A return to Jan. 25, 2011? Back to 1954? A return to the petulant slow fail of latter-days Mubarak? An alien invasion using nano-weapons and transgalactic wormholes in the Pyramids? Nobody really seems to know... but I'm pretty sure we're not going to see a return to stable CloneNDP-SCAF rule. Of course, this being Egypt, maybe tomorrow the Court will just overrule itself and we can all go back to normal...

It sure looks like the Algiers '91 scenario, in which the army prevented an Islamist majority from taking power democratically in parliamentary elections, after which a civil war ensued which has never really ended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post TSB! I do think the worldwide depression that began years ago is going to hit Egypt hard very soon, meaning they have no currency reserves left to buy food. With all those (80million?) people unable to buy food there is only 1 answer: mow em down for violating curfew! gwb