Egypt’s first democratically elected president is terrified

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

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Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi violates the law, implicitly supports intimidating the judiciary and judges, ignores all the principles of a state of law, issues laws and allows practices that guarantee authority for his group. He also and defies the popular and legal will as well as the public’s general interests by supporting an unconstitutional committee that came up with a faulty constitution that paves way for the hijacking of the country and its morphing into a religious state. Additionally, he corrupted political life and divided the people into two camps similar to an Osama Bin Laden style of rule. The first camp is that of the Brotherhood and the second one is that of the enemies who are not from among the tribe.

One must admit that he and his group have succeeded in pulling off an amazing performance in dividing the people and paving the way towards a fragmented state, only God knows the outcome of this act. The divisions don’t end here, it seems the fragmentation of Egyptian society, whose various communities have lived in harmony for thousands of years, is occurring. We don’t only hear statements referring to the differences between Muslims and Copts, but talk has also begun to include terms like the “people of the Nubia,” “Bedouins of Sinai” and “Bedouins of the western desert.” The problem is that there is more of a separatist flavor than a unification flavor to this narrative about these identities, which are in fact part of the social fabric. This of course is one of the current era’s “achievements.”

The regime and its head have also impoverished the entire country whilst the fortunes of Brotherhood members increase. We may notice that the current Egyptian model is one where the state gets poorer and the ruling party and its symbols get richer. The Egyptians are living in the worst economic phase ever. Daily sufferance has begun to target everyone. The quality of services, which was acceptable before, has entered the phase of collapse. Electricity and water cuts, gas shortages, the disappearance of bread, fuel and solar power, the collapse of transportation facilities, the collapse of medical and educational services and the destruction of the media and cultural institutions are nothing more than an introduction towards a phase with limits that can only be known to God.

A broken promise

In brief, the Brotherhood swept to power with the slogan “We bear good things for Egypt.” And we haven’t seen anything good ever since. A terrifying fall of the state has occurred instead. The Egyptian economy suffers due to lack of vision and official confusion over the means to resolve the severe economic crisis. Security collapsed in the country, corruption, which makes all previous corruption activities look small, grew and terrorists were provided with safety.

The Brotherhood swept to power with the slogan “We bear good things for Egypt.” And we haven’t seen anything good ever since.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

People have heard plenty of reassuring statements from the ruler. Events proved that such statements are just noise.

Why is the “first elected president,” as they call him, afraid of the people who are theoretically his people? Why does he shiver when he directly deals with them? Why has the general feeling developed from opposing the leaders towards possessing a desire for salvation, even if the situation looks like a collective suicide? Why does he who claims to be president of all the Egyptians hide behind huge barricades; an act Egypt never witnessed before during the eras of any president, king or pharaoh. Why is any president this afraid of his people? Why does Mursi fear June 30?

Security measures for the June 30 protest are really surprising. The presidency tasked two contracting companies with putting up two big gates in the street located between the area of “Bawba 5” and Al-Salam castle and asked them to put up electronic doors through which cars and people heading to the castle may pass. The street will be completely closed and will only be used to confront any attempts to storm the castle. Electronic iron gates of a two-meter height, and that come up from the ground in cases of emergencies, will also be put up. All gates will be linked to electric detonators through an electric circuit with high voltage, and they can electrocute anyone who places his foot within an area of one meter square. All this will be done before the end of the month. Meanwhile, a security official said that a week before the protest, the republican guards will close 14 streets around the castle, using concrete walls and barbed wire. Tanks and armored vehicles will be stationed behind all five doors and they will provide protection from inside.

The International Development Research Center’s first democracy report on the president’s performance confirmed that during the month of May, the presidency was weak in leading the state, in dealing with the people’s demands and the crises confronting it and in protecting its sovereignty, resources and people. The report also revealed that the presidential budget during Mursi’s era increased to 330.239 million Egyptian pounds whilst former president Hosni Mubarak’s last budget (2009-2010) was 252.6 million pounds. It thus increased by 78 million pounds. The question is: Does this fall within providing protection as well?

Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of "Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak," a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

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