Egyptian Military Regime Is Here to Stay

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The first round of elections in Egypt will happen on November 28, but the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is sending a clear message that it has no intention of giving up power. The military regime wants to decide the future of the country and is clamping down on its opponents, both Islamist and non-Islamist.

The military council has revealed that it wants to have veto power over the draft constitution that the interim government will write. The council says that the constitutional committee chosen by parliament should only have 20 parliamentarians with the military choosing the other 80. The committee is fired if it fails to come up with an acceptable draft constitution within 6 months. It also wants the military budget to remain secret and without oversight. The political parties are furious but according to the Associated Press, “The proposal only requires adoption by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to make it binding.” In other words, their opinions don’t matter.

The council previously said it would not allow “extremist factions” or “another Khomeini” to come to power. It is making good on its pledge ahead of the November 28 elections. Middle East expert Dr. Barry Rubin, in the wake of the Islamists’ strong performance in Tunisia’s elections, now predicts they will get nearly 50 percent of the vote. The latest poll has the Muslim Brotherhood with 39% of the country’s support, but the non-Islamists do not have a common front and will split the vote, handing victories to the Islamists in districts they otherwise could not win. Furthermore, Islamist turnout is very strong as they believe they are religiously obligated to participate.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces blocked al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya from forming a political party and banned the use of religious slogans in campaigns, spurring the ire of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had to change its slogan from “Islam is the solution” to “We bring good for Egypt.”

The military council is undermining the secularists, as well as the Islamists. It just ruled that Ayman Nour, a secularist who previously competed against President Mubarak, cannot run for president because of his prior convictions. In 2005, the Mubarak regime had him arrested and convicted on trumpeted-up corruption charges. He was accused of forging the signatures he required to form his political party. He was eventually released under U.S. pressure. State television is meanwhile promoting a positive image of the chairman of the SCAF, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

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  • Amused

    Of course it is . Our yearly billions to Egypt , insures that it will stay that way ,and the US will maintain some leverage .

  • StephenD

    We play the fool to continue with aid until it is a fact that they share our values. Individual Freedom and Personal Responsibility maintained within a Constitutional Government with equality under the law. Unless this happens they are anathema to us and it is like supporting your enemy. If they come our way, fine; Support them. If they don't, at least we would not have wasted our treasure on a potential enemy.

  • effemall

    A corrupt military is always preferable to lunatic religionists because one can deal with the former while the latter represents loose cannons with no value placed on their own lives or those of others.

  • crypticguise

    Hmmm… let me think here? Islamists versus the Military? There is no way there is going to be a secular government in a Nation filled with ignorant IslamoFascist citizens. These folks actually wanted Sharia Law?

    US largesse should be absolutely dependent on the military reining in the IslamoNazi Muslim Brotherhood. However, our present INCOMPETENTS in the White House and State Department haven't a clue how to use this leverage.

  • joy52

    Silly Westerners. The military has run the country for decades and won't give that up now. Mubarak did not do the leg work, it was Barzini..I mean, the military all along. They cleaned out a few people when the public rose up, but they know muslims need an iron hand to keep them in line. Remember, Islam is not compatible with democracy. So, pick your poisen–the military which will impose structure or extreme islam clamping down harder. If they are lucky, Christians will survive. Never listen to what a muslim says, watch what they do.

  • Ben

    Democracy at any price haven`t gone with the neo-cons. Egyptian military are not only more democrats the the Brotherhood but can be more easily ruled by foreign money and military power.

  • 080

    The problem with Egypt is avoiding mass starvation. The Muslim Brotherhood has no more economic promise that what was delivered in Iran. The military should be required to protect the Coptic Christians before any kind of aid is provided by the United States. Who can provide that protection other than the military?

  • sabo

    egypt election is empty propaganda. one croock is gone another crook is coming, what a waste,,,Revolution nil / Army gange 1…

  • WilliamJamesWard

    A new Pharaoh is in order, now Obama will be looking for a job next year
    and it could be a nice fit, Tut Nut Obama, has a nice ring…..Barney Frank
    as a Mummy, Harry Reid as a land speculative anthropologist, Nancy Pelosi
    as a slave girl, it may be a good thing if we could get rid of the entire list
    of leftist characters in new life roles. Flipside as the evil high priest, yeah
    I could see this………………………………………………………William