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Egyptian President Overthrown, Constitution Suspended 413

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you're-there,-stay-safe dept.
Al Jazeera and other publications are reporting that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has been overthrown by the country's army. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, head of the Egyptian armed forces, said in a televised announcement that Morsi had been removed from power, the Constitution had been suspended, and Adli al-Mansour, leader of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, had been appointed to lead the country until elections can be held. "Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups." According to the BBC's report, "General Sisi said on state TV that the armed forces could not stay silent and blind to the call of the Egyptian masses," and "The army is currently involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital."
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Egyptian President Overthrown, Constitution Suspended

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  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:17PM (#44181995) Homepage Journal

    Egypt was a better place back then, center of culture and learning in the world.

    Now it's just shit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Stormwatch (703920)

      That'd mean getting rid of Islam... and I can't see a downside here.

      • by plover (150551)

        I think the whole conquering / slavery thing was kind of a negative. You're probably not going to get a lot of support for that approach.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think the whole conquering / slavery thing was kind of a negative. You're probably not going to get a lot of support for that approach.

          It worked just fine for the USA. And now they're the moral and benevolent world police.

        • by sjames (1099) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:13PM (#44182715) Homepage

          Many of those 'slaves' turned out to be reasonably well paid workers with healthcare.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833)

      North Korea is better than Egypt was under the Pharaohs. Different time, different standards.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:30PM (#44182173)

      They also danced better.

    • by spongman (182339)

      how about just a strong secular constitution backed by an independent judiciary?

      hmm... July 4th might be a good day to declare you're going to do such a thing.

      a constitution that can be changed by the president when he feels like it is not worth the paper used to wipe the asses of the people that wrote it.

  • by dnaumov (453672) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:18PM (#44182005)

    Why is it that it's precisely in times where upholding the constitution is at it's most important (in times of turmoil), that so many countries do away with the constitution entirely and suspend it?!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:22PM (#44182057)

      Because constitutions are often flawed, often very flawed. They are not some perfect piece of paper that is immune to error and corruption. I take it that they intend to draft a new one.

      Plus, any coup is a de-facto suspension of the constitution, even one like this where it is done with the support of the populace of the country.

      • by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:01PM (#44182559) Journal

        Flawed they may be but the poit is to set the ground rules so people know what to do and have something to look to when things get crazy and emotion runs high. Frankly I agree with the parent, the fact that Egypt can't ride it out until the next election and then replace Morsi having learned a lesson about electing theocrats, suggests to me the nation is unlikely to develop the spine it takes to have a democracy and keep it.

        This does not bode well for a free Egypt. Whenever things get wierd form now on the military will just take over.

        our state department is doing nothing because they in their usual sort sightedness jus don't want anyone unpredictable near Isreal.

        • by Gary Perkins (1518751) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:39PM (#44183021) Homepage Journal
          Have you read the Egyptian Constitution? I'm not surprised they didn't last long. One look at the Wikipedia article, which is just an outline of it, and I had enough.
        • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:42PM (#44183673)

          Flawed they may be but the poit is to set the ground rules so people know what to do and have something to look to when things get crazy and emotion runs high. Frankly I agree with the parent, the fact that Egypt can't ride it out until the next election and then replace Morsi having learned a lesson about electing theocrats, suggests to me the nation is unlikely to develop the spine it takes to have a democracy and keep it .

          More likely they realized that if they didn't act soon, they wouldn't be able to act at all.
          Read the excellent post on CNN [cnn.com] from Chariman of the History department in Cairo. He viewed Morsy as his President, he really tried.

          Quoting:

          The Brotherhoodization policy has gone way beyond what is normally expected in any healthy transitional process. In addition to the provincial governors -- who are gradually being replaced by Brotherhood members -- the Police Academy is reportedly being infiltrated by members of the clandestine organization. Within the Ministry of Education, replacements have reached the level of school principals. And the new Minister of Culture has replaced the head of the Cairo Opera House, dismissed the head of the Cairo Ballet Company, the head of the Egyptian Book Authority (the largest government publishing house) , and the director of the National Library and the National Archives. The new appointees have no credentials except being members or sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

          Its quite telling for an Islamic Majority Nation to step back from the Islamification of everyday life. Far from not "riding it out", waiting for an election that would in all likelihood never happen, they demanded Morsy's ouster, and set about bringing to fulfillment the revolution that was hijacked by Islam.

          Even in the US, the Declaration of Independence wasn't followed immediately by the Constitution. We had the failed Articles of Confederation, which was barely sufficient to see us through the War of Independence, but couldn't govern the nation in times of Peace. The major difference is our War was so long (9 years) and so brutal that any remaining disagreement wasn't about the political ideology, but rather the apparatus.

    • by Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:26PM (#44182121)

      In this case I'm guessing it's because in 2012 Morsi granted himself pretty much unlimited power and then used it to ram through a crappy constitution that most Egyptians didn't really like. Just spitballing though.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:29PM (#44182159) Journal

      Because the constitution in question was hastily approved less than a year ago with a lot of controversy and meager support among the populace (64% of people voted yes on the referendum, but the turnout was only 33%). It defines Islam and "principles of Shariah" as "the main source of legislation", which is precisely what many protesters were up in arms against. In short, it's the brainchild of the Islamists, and so any popular revolution against them is going to disregard it as well.

      • by siride (974284)

        How is that different from our constitution, which was controversial at the time and had to be initially drafted in secret and defended publicly by anonymous letters to the editor? The people didn't get to vote on it either, as the state government's ratified it after long struggles between supporters and detractors.

        • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:44PM (#44182361)

          Yeah, I can't imagine what would have happened if the founding fathers' first attempt [wikipedia.org] at a constitution had been deemed a failure and replaced. The world would be a totally different place.

          • by bdwoolman (561635) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:41PM (#44183665) Homepage

            It is a secular document that embodies principles of government conceived by men of sublime genius on the heels of five hundred years of medieval religious terror. It embodies advanced philosophical principles of governance drawn carefully and thoughtfully from the ancients, the 'noble savages' as well as from new philosophies from the age of enlightenment itself (Rousseau). (We are still far from realizing its potential, but it DOES protect us. Mostly.)

            The Ottoman Empire never experienced this critical cultural shift. Egypt was a part of it and locked in the middle age darkness until the 20th century. Secular Ba'athism [wikipedia.org] was a half step forward, but it went out with Mubarak. The Army, ever the guardians of Ba'athist ideals, thought the time might be right for pluralism as a way to enter fully into the family of nations... and they hated Mubarak. They let the popular kettle boil, rolled the dice and came up with... Morsi. Feh! The "constitution" that Morsi rammed down the country's throat was an atavistic abomination that drew upon medieval juridical traditions that were outmoded by the 13th century. And which the Ba'athists hate with a passion. (Almost as much as the Jihadis hate the Ba'athists.) Witness that at long last, a hundred years after the last Sultan fell off the Sunni throne, that the former nations of the Ottomans are waking up. Morsi took a democratic ladder to the heights of power then clumsily pulled it up behind him and spat on those below. He now pays the price for his perfidy. The Army, essentially Ba'athist secularists and anathema to the jihadists, want a modern country. Had Morsi been as capable and cautious as Erdogan in Turkey it would have been a different story. But now he is toast. He was always there at their sufferance. They will hold new elections in a year or two and settle back to their barracks. But just as the Turkish army has been staunching the tide of medievalism for almost the last hundred years, so will the Egyptian Army continue to watch.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:47PM (#44182393) Journal

          It's different in that tens of millions of people were sufficiently angry about their constitution to go to the streets.

          Constitutions are not magical self-contained documents that work by virtue of their very existence. They do not hold any meaning or weight if they are rejected by the citizens en masse.

        • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:45PM (#44183093)

          The US Constitution was accepted unanimously by state representatives at the Convention, and then ratified unanimously by the states.

          Plus it is a glorious thing to read, based on the philosophies of the Enlightment and full of brilliant compromises.

          The Egyptian constitutional convention was a complete farce in comparison. Rammed through in a classical demonstration of the tyranny of the majority.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            It had the benefit not only from things like the enlightenment, but the men who wrote it had a very particular perspective and background; They were, as a group, generally Protestant Christian (of various degrees of religiosity and various different denominations) which meant that they all shared a common view of basic principles of "right" and "wrong" BUT also a healthy suspicion of government forcing its views onto the individual (the English King and the Church of England had suppressed nearly all of the

      • by richlv (778496)

        from the very brief info bits, apparently women didn't like being oppressed that much: https://twitter.com/Reem_Abdellatif/status/352448757360623616 [twitter.com]

        Women leading chants against Morsi + Muslim Brotherhood: "they said our voices were a sin, down w/ the Brotherhood's supreme guide"

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your concerns are misguided. This constitution wasn't *worth* upholding. It's a mishmash concocted by Islamist and other enemies of democracy. They are probably better off if they scrap it and go back to the old one.

    • by plover (150551) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:45PM (#44182377) Homepage Journal

      If you're not starting with a good constitution, preserving it isn't going to help. Egypt's most recent constitution was drafted entirely by Islamists after the secularists and Christians walked out when it was clear it was going to embody Sharia law and other Islamist practices at the expense of human rights.

    • by Mt._Honkey (514673) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:02PM (#44182577)

      Because the act of removing the president in this way is itself a violation of the constitution (I assume). The constitution has to be suspended in order for this extraordinary act to occur.

      To give a hypothetical US example: let's say the people elect a President who turns out to be Literally Hitler, and has gotten Congress to back him (just like Hitler). So President Hitler and company prepare to conquer the world by force, much to the horror of the American people and the military. The people take to the streets, and the military leadership does not want to invade Mexico and Canada as ordered.

      So, what do we do? The Constitution would have us wait for the next election cycle and vote these people out, but if we obey the constitution millions could be killed. Someone needs to do something, and the military is in the position to do it. The Joint Chiefs, with popular support, declare the Hitler government and congress to be disolved, and charges the Supreme Court with overseeing the creation and installation of a new government, because the Court is the only federal civil authority with any integrity.

      None of that is even remotely authorized by the constitution, therefore the military tells us that "the constitution is suspended" in order to cary out this plan. That doesn't mean they go out and start violating every tenant of it, but they do have to violate parts (those which organize the government) in order to make it work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:18PM (#44182007)

    Step 1) Spy on your citizens
    Step 2) ....
    Step 3) Profit!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:18PM (#44182021)

    since we don't seem to be using right now I don't see any problem.

    • but it's really not funny.

      If I were the Assholes in charge of the US Government, I would be worrying about all that ammo flying off the shelves for the last 7 years or so.

      1% of the Taxpayers is not 1% of the population, lol.

      I remember when the Constitution was a real Badge of Honor, not something Our Government Wipes its collective Ass on whenever they want.

      .

      • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:06PM (#44182619)

        I remember when the Constitution was a real Badge of Honor, not something Our Government Wipes its collective Ass on whenever they want.

        I don't. I just remember when I was more ignorant of history.

        • by Grog6 (85859) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:43PM (#44183073)

          I have to admit; I got my initial impressions of my government from my Grandparents more from my Parents.

          They lived thru a lot in the 30's and then the War; the government actually helped people that needed help, back then.

          The Government back then put people under surveillance, but not everything they said or read or wrote.

          I too, was extremely ignorant of a great deal of what happened in the LBJ/Nixon/Ford/Carter/Reagan years.

          I'm totally amazed that I look back on Clinton as the best Pres so far, lol. I Did Not vote for him. :facepalm:

          W. was Cheney/Rumsfeld's sockpuppet; You don't think He decided to land on an aircraft carrier at sea, do you? :)

          Read about those guys' involvement in the Nixon era stuff, and the Regan/Iceland BS, Arsenals of Folly is a great book on some of that:
          http://www.amazon.com/Arsenals-Folly-Making-Nuclear-Vintage/dp/0375713948 [amazon.com]

          Hey, I'd rather have the Prez decorating some Chunky Ho's dress than Wiping Ass with the Constitution.

          Maybe it's just me...

          • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:20PM (#44184003)

            I have to admit; I got my initial impressions of my government from my Grandparents more from my Parents.

            They lived thru a lot in the 30's and then the War; the government actually helped people that needed help, back then.

            If you were white. If you weren't, then the 14th Amendment didn't really mean that much for you and thus neither did most of the rest of the Constitution. Nor did it mean much if you were otherwise "unfit," as the history of sterilization of the mentally retarded from that era shows.

            It was a time period of conservative judicial activism known as the Lochner era [wikipedia.org] in which laws establishing minimum wage or safe work conditions were struck down as unconstitutional under the dubious theory of "freedom of contract."

            It was also a time period in which labor-leaders and other leftists were kept under surveillance by J. Edgar Hoover, who was prepared to round them up at a moment's notice. After all, this was a time period in which union members paid in blood for their views and the government turned a blind eye to private union-busting operations like the American Protective League and the Pinkerton Agency, who ran sabotage and intimidation against people exercising their rights, or just openly sanctioned killing striking workers.

            Most of my views of American democracy were informed as a child by what we believed this nation should be. Very little of it was informed by what it actually was, then and now. I think most of us are the same.

          • W. was Cheney/Rumsfeld's sockpuppet; You don't think He decided to land on an aircraft carrier at sea, do you? :)

            Actually, yes, I do think that W. decided to land on an aircraft carrier at sea. He was a fighter pilot in the Air National Guard and his father was a pretty good naval pilot during WWII. So, it seems pretty likely that the idea of landing on an aircraft carrier at sea would have been his (or at least one that he liked as soon as he heard it). The idea that one of the Bush's was anybody's puppet shows a very poor understanding of the history of the U.S., even for a conspiracy theorists. If your conspiracy t

  • D'oh! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clarkn0va (807617) <apt,get&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:21PM (#44182047) Homepage

    So if the constitution was suspended and the leader of the constitutional court appointed leader, does the first action cancel the potency of the second?

    Under the circumstances I'm guessing not, but the irony is at least a little bit tasty.

  • Funny is says the Constitution was Suspended. Like it was ever a democracy in the first place.
    • Funny is says the Constitution was Suspended.

      Like it was ever a democracy in the first place.

      Is there something requiring you to be a democracy in order to have a constitution?

    • by Cederic (9623) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:32PM (#44182195) Journal

      You mean the recent free and fair elections weren't democratic?

      They voted in a religious fuckwit but that's an unfortunate flaw with democracy.

      • by KZigurs (638781)

        That fuckwit took the office, rewrote the constitution for his religious liking and got rid of any judges he didn't like. The problem wasn't the democratic elections, but what happened afterwards.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      One can only hope that their consitution that was drafted a year ago was suspended. Being that Morsi basically gave himself "el presedente" type powers, and imposed islam as the backbone of the country, and sharia law as the "founding law of the land." Yep, I shit you not on that one.

      Go ahead and see how well that's worked out in the last year oki? With open attacks on copts, who don't pay the jizya tax. And of course their value only being worth half of that of a muslim. Or the massive upswing in att

  • by some old guy (674482) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:35PM (#44182233)

    While the Egyptian Army is certainly no paragon of freedom (or battle prowess, but that's another story...), at least there is a formidable power in Egypt that leans toward secular sanity and against Islamist lunacy. Egypt could again one day stand with Turkey (for all its troubles) and Jordan as examples of modern, stable states among the insane theocracies that surround them.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:40PM (#44182303)

      "Egypt could again one day stand with Turkey (for all its troubles) and Jordan as examples of modern, stable states among the insane theocracies that surround them."

      Man, I sure hope North Carolina can do this too.

    • Unfortunately Turkey is heading in the opposite direction, towards becoming an Islamic state. The Islamists in power have seriously weakened the Turkish army so there is little likelihood that it will be able to step in again to restore secular government. This might be a more or less permanent change.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Well the way that the islamists have weakened the Turkish army is by rounding up people who helped install a secular government and "making them disappear" after a sham trial.

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          The head of the Army (the guy who just deposed Morsi) was a General that Morsi installed after clearing house in 2012.

          That trick may have worked in Turkey, but it didn't work in Egypt

  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:43PM (#44182341)
    Social media cuts both ways. The military took control of State TV (as in all coups), closed the three pro-Morsi TV Stations (arresting some journalists in the process) but could not take both the Twitter and the Facebook official accounts from the reluctant future deposed president.

    The next post will contain verbatim of the deposed president probable last communication via an official channel: the "Office of Assistant to President of Egypt on Foreign Relations" Facebook account.

    Here is the link to the communicate [facebook.com] for those who still have a FB account.

    Below is the full text for analysis and comment.
  • by steveha (103154) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:55PM (#44182487) Homepage

    So this is a rather informal one.

    It's a coup, but rather a strange one. The people want Morsi gone, the military is moving against him and then handing off power to the people.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/03/egypt-morsi-protests-army-deadline/2485355/ [usatoday.com]

    Here's a summary of the situation from the point of view of one of the protesters.

    Why President Morsi is in Trouble:
    A youth leader of the June 30th demonstrations gives us an insider's view of why ordinary Egyptians are in revolt.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/why-president-morsi-is-in-trouble/?singlepage=true [pjmedia.com]

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:54PM (#44183189) Homepage Journal

    Basically detest islam in the majority of its forms. But having looked at Egypt for a while, the level of abuse on women, organised or social rape, the deliberate and appalling levels of enforced FGM, and coming to a conclusion that as a people in a general sense, I feel only sorry for the victims, but generally regard most with a deep disdain.

    As an aside, this looks to me to have civil war written all over it. But before that, an observation of my own on this. I have zero belief that Islam can fit into modern society. Into democracy. In secularism or into multiculturalism. I don't believe it deserves a seat at the table, nor do I think they actually want a seat unless it comes with all the usual preconditions and appalling islamic fundamentalism.

    However, if a person like me - has a theory that I demand or expect islamics to adhere to modern standards, and to put aside some of their normal activities and behaviour and to fall into line and operate on a civil basis in society, take part in democracy, campaign for what they believe and if they can do so in the civil way, perhaps get a deserved place at the table of government - then things in Egypt don't provide any good news. And under normal circumstances I'd welcome the Muslim Brotherhood getting chewed up and spat out. But I can't have it both ways, even with my somewhat harsh line of thought. If they do put down the guns, and do put aside the bombs, and come to play a full part in the democratic processes, then what?

    So, the context now is that they win an election (debate that as you see fit), and a number of months later, find the US supported and equipped Army deposes their chosen man and suspends the entire constitution. An awkward pause for me now occurs. If they get excluded and sidelined in this way, it seems to me that this is fuel in the tank for bad stuff. What is the point of elections now to Morsi and this brotherhood. Democracy by its nature has to be inclusive, even to forces or views I dislike. Thats almost the point.

    In this instance, I find myself having a tiny amount of sympathy to bad people, whom I normally don't have any sympathy with, as there is an air of injustice and incorrectness about this. I detest Islam and its fundamentalism, BUT, if they put their guns and arms down and come to the table - something I may not like, but may well respect - then their part in it can't be cut off like this - at least thats a vague feeling I have. But I know that the Muslim Brotherhood are scum, and I know only idiots would vote for them. Bingo - look what happened. Idiots and then the MB got elected.

    In the end tho, Its Egypt. Its a state where this is the picture across its society.
    http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/unkindest-cut-13yearolds-death-shines-spotlight-on-rise-of-fgm-in-egypt-8657104.html [standard.co.uk]

    There is no escape. The men are involved. The women. The mothers. There are no innocents in this appalling crime against humanity, and against women in particular. And against the young girls, often under age, who are forcably held down and have their sexual organs butchered in full 7th century barbarism. The fact that the women are often involved in the infliction of this crime only erodes all respect. Despicable, and beyond contempt. It doesn't matter who gets into Government over such people. Its very hard for me to find sympathy for these fucking people. Their behaviour is worse than animals. Their choice of 'leadership' is a reflection of the people as a whole. Normally it is said that to correct fundamental problems - in a society, the advancement of women is critical. I have no problem with that, ... but these women.. there is a black hole here where an education and care for their own siblings should be.

    The calls for 'freedom' or 'democracy' really become meaningless. Human rights? Yeah - as if anyone a citizen of such a place t

    • by pla (258480)
      Hey now, if they only inflicted their crazy on themselves, I would agree with you.

      Unfortunately, they also seem to like raping Western female reporters [smh.com.au]. How many does this make in the past year? I can NAME three, and seem to recall a couple more. From "We want democracy, let's rape journalists!" to "yay, we won, let's rape journalists!", and now to "we don't like the self-imposed perversion of democracy we got, send more journalists for us to rape!"

      But of course, they don't limit themselves to just [www.cbc.ca]
  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @09:45PM (#44184655)
    People throwing away a dictator with the support of army, then People calling for army to get away. Elected president standing against the general will thrown away by army... The path to democracy is not straightforward, and it can take a long time before it settles. For instance, between France first revolution in 1789, and the stable 3rd republic, there had been 90 years of various regimes and revolutions, switching several times between republic, monarchy (absolute or constitutional), and even two so called emperors.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.

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