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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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  • D'oh! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clarkn0va (807617) <apt.get@gm a i l . c om> 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.

  • 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 clarkkent09 (1104833) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:36PM (#44182243)

    Don't be naive. Short of installing Obama as the ruler of Egypt, we can hardly get any less involved in what's going on there.

  • Re:news for nerds (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wookact (2804191) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:44PM (#44182363)
    I consider myself a nerd, and I find this news interesting. I support this article being here. If you do not, then please choose not to read that article. If you feel that there are too many such articles for you to enjoy the site, then please find another site.
  • 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 lgw (121541) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:47PM (#44182385) Journal

    The Egyptian army does seem to be reflecting the will of the Egyptian people in this case. Seems the recent theocracy wasn't actually any good at the nuts and bolts of running a country - and people to expect the government of a fairly modern country to provide basic services. Or at least that's how I interpret the army's statement that a "technocrat, capable national government will be formed" (quoting Al-Jaz).

  • by jfengel (409917) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:59PM (#44182525) Homepage Journal

    Question for me is, will they replace it with something more effective? Technocratic benevolent dictatorships are a lot more attractive on paper than they turn out to be in real life.

    And if the military intends to (again) establish a democracy, will the people just vote the Muslim Brotherhood back into power? I may not like Morsi but he was the democratically elected leader, with no more than the usual level of shenanigans in the election. (And given the shenanigans that show up in the US, I'm not going to throw too many stones. They're different, in both kind and degree, but we're hardly beyond reproach.)

  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 Cwix (1671282) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:54PM (#44183777)

    Quick Q. Why are you defending a leader that by all accounts was bad at his job, and lied to get elected. Yes he "won" the election but his opponent was a puppet of the last regime. The turn out was only 33%. That means 2/3rds of the people did not like their choices. It sounds like the people already spoke once by boycotting the election.

  • by Bongo (13261) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @05:00AM (#44186513)

    That's one of the more impressive tells; there is a general will to avoid violence, rather than other places where it seems there's no shortage of people eager for a fight. The MB may have just underestimated the collective intelligence of Egypt's people, or just failed to recognise it altogether. The people don't seem to want an "I win, you lose" mode of problem solving. They seem to have managed the largest fairly peaceful demonstration in history, got a result, and seem in a way comfortable with a bit of creative but peaceful chaos. That's maybe more essential to democracy than ballot boxes.

  • by Bongo (13261) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @08:12AM (#44187047)

    There's messages of hate all over the place, and some cultural movements have relatively more of it than others.

    It is really hard to be objective about judging this, but take in to account some of the books written by Muslim women who describe their experience of mainstream Islam from the inside.

    Jew hatred, tribalism, and oppression of women are pretty systemic and global, in their opinion.

    At some point, the messages that are being written and taught do influence the mainstream culture. When's the last time you hear of Jains being violent? There are mainstream trends and so far, Jains are at one end, then Buddhists, then Christians and lastly Moslems at the other end.

    Another factor is that Islam hasn't had a reformation, and it is Monotheistic (everyone else is wrong). The religions with multiple deities or no deities or deities invoked as psychological exercises of the imagination, will have less of this problem.

    The women Moslem authors would like to see a modernised Islam that allows self-criticism, inquiry, and thus greater devotion to good, compassion, and so on, but they are hard-pressed to see where Islam can be divorced from the tribalistic culture it started with.

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