Meanwhile in Egypt, meet the new boss, same as the old boss
So much for the “Twitter Revolution”, aka Arab Spring in Egypt. Seems we’re back to square one:
Egypt’s military leaders issued a constitutional decree Sunday that gave the armed forces sweeping powers and degraded the presidency to a subservient role, as the Muslim Brotherhood declared that its candidate had won the country’s presidential runoff election.
The bold assertion of power by the ruling generals followed months in which they had promised to cede authority to a new civilian government by the end of June. Instead, activists and political analysts said, the generals’ move marked the start of a military dictatorship, a sharp reversal from the promise of Egypt’s popular revolt last year.
The court dissolved Parliament and the committee drafting the new Constitution. As for the fact that a member of the Muslim Brotherhood has declared victory in the presidential race? Meh.
The declaration, published in the state gazette, had been expected, but its details indicate that the military has asserted far greater authority than observers had anticipated. Under the order, the president will have no control over the military’s budget or leadership and will not be authorized to declare war without the consent of the ruling generals.
But not to worry, a new, new Constitution is in the offing:
The document said the military would soon name a group of Egyptians to draft a new constitution, which will be subject to a public referendum within three months. Once a new charter is in place, a parliamentary election will be held to replace the Islamist-dominated lower house that was dissolved Thursday after the country’s high court ruled that one-third of the chamber’s members had been elected unlawfully.
So, other than the ouster of Mubarak, not much has changed, has it:
“With this document, Egypt has completely left the realm of the Arab Spring and entered the realm of military dictatorship,” said Hossam Bahgat, a prominent human rights activist. “This is worse than our worst fears.”
Question: Now that this has become fait accompli, how does the Obama administration react to this outcome given its support of the revolutionaries?