EGYPT/ The unity of democratic forces needed to prevent a coup
The Egyptian Constitutional Court dissolved Parliament, which was in the hands of Islamist parties, and declared unconstitutional the law to exclude the competitor of the Muslim Brotherhood from the presidential run-off to be held tomorrow. Egypt, which seemed to be sliding inexorably into Islamism, now may have to decide everything all over again. “If Parliament is dissolved, the country will end up in a tunnel” thundered Essam El-Erian, the vice president of the Freedom and Justice Party. “The Muslim Brotherhood is paying the consequences for their ambiguous behavior” counters the Egyptian Professor Wael Farouq, “The decision of the Constitutional Court is formally impeccable. For the youth of Tahrir Square it is a new beginning, which I hope they will deal with without repeating the mistakes of the past”.
Do you believe that the Constitutional Court's ruling was “piloted” by the military?
All the legal experts expected this ruling because the electoral law prevents specific people from running for president, and was therefore an ad personam norm. The decision is not the result of pressure from the Military Council, but is the logical consequence of the attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood in recent months.
In what sense?
For a long time, they refused to make a law to prevent members of the former regime from running in the presidential elections. At the last minute, they made one against only two people, Omar Suleiman and Ahmed Shafiq, who is likely to defeat their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, in tomorrow’s run-off. No honest person in Egypt is ready to defend the law declared unconstitutional by the Court.
The Muslim Brotherhood has already threatened to fight this...
Whatever they said, it is their problem. For months they pursued only their own interest, rather than the good of the country, aiming to control everything. Now they are rightly paying for their mistakes.
Could the dissolving of Parliament be a positive opportunity?
Yes, freedom is the greatest enemy of extremism, and after being in Parliament for less than a year, the Muslim Brotherhood lost 50 percent of their consensus. If we have a new round of free elections, the Islamists will not be able to regain the majority. This is provided the country actually goes back to the voting booths, and there are strong doubts on this subject because Egypt today is stuck between a rock and a hard place: radical Islamism and the risk of a military dictatorship. It is no coincidence that some analysts say we should expect a coup.
Do you think that this is what the military is aiming to do?