Egypt’s President Morsi Seizes Dictatorial Power

With a truce in the Gaza conflict freshly signed, President Mohamed Morsi gave himself supreme authority in Egypt, setting the fledgling democracy back to the Mubarak era. From The New York Times.

CAIRO — With a constitutional assembly on the brink of collapse and protesters battling the police in the streets over the slow pace of change, President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree on Thursday granting himself broad powers above any court as the guardian of Egypt’s revolution, and used his new authority order the retrial of Hosni Mubarak.

Mr. Morsi, an Islamist and Egypt’s first elected president, portrayed his decree as an attempt to fulfill popular demands for justice and protect the transition to a constitutional democracy. But the unexpected breadth of the powers he seized raised immediate fears that he might become a new strongman. Seldom in history has a postrevolutionary leader amassed so much personal power only to relinquish it swiftly.

“An absolute presidential tyranny,” Amr Hamzawy, a liberal member of the dissolved Parliament and prominent political scientist, wrote in an online commentary. “Egypt is facing a horrifying coup against legitimacy and the rule of law and a complete assassination of the democratic transition.”

Mr. Morsi issued the decree at a high point in his five-month-old presidency, when he was basking in praise from the White House and around the world for his central role in negotiating a cease-fire that the previous night had stopped the fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas.

The Obama administration helped Morsi out by making him central to the Gaza truce and heaping praise on him. They have yet to comment on this new development except to say that they are monitoring the situation…

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  • Sky__Captain

    How’s that “Arab Spring” democracy thing working out for ya?

  • jim_m

    Obama had always had a soft spot for dictators. He’s getting what he wanted.

  • Where does the Egyptian Army stand now?

  • 914

    First Obama, now Morsi. Utopia is such a lovely place.

  • retired.military

    Does this really surprise anyone?

  • “The Obama administration helped Morsi out…” After they helped Mubarak out…

  • ackwired

    When I saw that the source was the NYT, I assumed that this was just another media whine. But it is a substantial post.

    It does indeed look like Egypt’s hopes for a democratic system has ended as so many of these revolutions end. It will be a different world with Egypt ruled by a Muslim Brotherhood Islamist. Hopefully the US will not feel that they have the right or responsibility to police their policies.

  • Commander_Chico

    It will be OK with the USA if Morsi does what the USA and Israel wants. He’s already helped out on Gaza. When’s his term up, and what will the new constitution say?

    There are a lot of old Mubarak hacks in the judiciary that are doing what they can to thwart the results of the elections – which Morsi and his party won. It’s called democracy, they should get over it.

    The USA cannot control Egypt, and should not try.

    • jim_m

      Morsi dissolved parliament. Now he has bypassed the judiciary. This Chico ignorantly calls “democracy” because he cannot tell the difference between the totalitarianism he desires and real democracy.

      • Commander_Chico

        As usual, you have it exactly wrong. The Constitutional Court appointed by Mubarak dissolved parliament by dubiously voiding the election. Morsi is bringing the parliament back.

        • jim_m

          Apparently you failed to read the first sentance: “A new constitutional declaration issued on Thursday gives the president unlimited powers”

          Some democracy he is creating. As I said. You don’t know the difference.

          • retired.military

            That is the kind of constitution that Obama wishes for.

          • Carl

            You can’t just admit that you were wrong?

            “Morsi dissolved parliament.”

            No, he didn’t. What’s your damage that you can’t admit it when you’re wrong?

            And why do you make up answers? You’re apparently too stupid to know the difference between reality and the crap you make up.

        • jim_m

          Morsi’s spokesman explained the decree in these terms: the president can issue any decree he wishes to protect the revolution. “The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal.”

          Chico calls this power “democracy”. You keep saying that word but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  • Carl

    A strong hand in the region is needed now. Morsi can be pushed aside a year from now.

    Not saying its the best answer – but it’s movement at least.

    • retired.military

      You arent suggesting we intervene if we dont like who is in power a year from now (most likely it will still be Morsi).

      • Carl

        I think we’re already intervening, behind the scenes – but I think Morsi will be gone in a year. I think democracy will prevail, we’re just at the beginning of the negotiations for power and representation.