Egypt Beyond June 30: Between Legitimacy And Legitimizing Power

(Mohamed Ismail Ahmed, Kungsör)

It can be emphasized that most of the revolution’ goals have not been met in many aspects during the era of “Muslim Brotherhood”, as economic crises exacerbated in a way that Egyptian citizens couldn’t transcend crises of hunger and repression, in light of a serious security loose and a strong dominance of the “Brotherhood” over sensitive sectors such as the police forces and the army. The duplication of several images was manifested; in thoughts and ideology, supporters and opponents between civil and religious sectors and even in the concept of revolution itself.Read more…

If no one disputes the legitimacy of “Morsi” as a president on the basis of his arrival through legitimate elections, during which a wave of optimism among the people – who carried so many hopes after the revolution – prevailed; one year of his reign was enough to deliver Egypt to the edge, even to a standstill. We must admit that ruling any state after a revolution is not easy at all, especially that people’ expectations often exceed the possible; however, the solution – according to many analysts – lied in early elections. Morsi’ denial of this proposal and his commitment to his rule legitimacy has led to the emergence of new movements that managed to gather around large groups led by “Rebel / Tamarod” movement, it has also led to a significant change on the levels of political and ideological alliances inside and outside Egypt.

The post–“Mubarak” military rule period; led by Field Marshal “Mohamed Hussein Tantawi’, has experienced the continuing rise of debt values by more than 16%, with a clear decline in the value of foreign debt due to the depletion of foreign exchange reserves. Under these circumstances, “Morsi” became a president after presidential elections run in June 2012; and so, by the end of his rule, the value of the public debt should have been significantly increased. Such inheritance formed a huge obstacle to improving the economic situations in the era of “Morsi” rule; however, the reasons of his government failure were not limited to this accumulated legacy; as also the Brotherhood's government was unable to provide an effective response to people aspirations concerning their poor economic, social and political conditions.

During a year of his rule, it was clear that “Morsi” suffered a state of confusion that was clearly manifested in his decisions and strategies; as suffocating crises that directly touched people in their daily lives (gasoline, electricity, food prices, etc) continued – not to mention his weak speeches and failure at the level of foreign affairs, all led people hungry to get out of their crises to be disappointed. The era of “Morsi” rule was also characterized by “brotherhoodization” policy of the state; where he founded several headquarters for his brotherhood’ fellows, who badly sought after involving themselves in all of the vital sectors such as the police, army and media in the absence of a constitution that clearly defines the authorities of the president.

All of these factors increased the size of the opposition forces who felt threatened by the possibility of changing the whole state identity and the domination of one ideology over each of its facilities and leading positions.

It could be assumed that “Morsi” was unable to manage a state of the magnitude of Egypt, languished by severs crises. With the likelihood of a premise that “Morsi” is not the one who really governs Egypt, but the powerful elements within the brotherhood led by the general guide “Mohammed Mahdi Akef” and his deputy “Khairat Al-Shater” who was the original brotherhood’ candidate in the presidential elections before being ruled out; are the real rulers. So, it was natural that new opposition movements were created in addition to the strong opposition forces mainly present.

In light of the security chaos and given to the bullying of the brotherhood’ alliances abroad, and with “Morsi” stuck to his assertion as the legitimate president under an implicit threat of the brotherhood spreading chaos if he was removed, as well as rejection of early elections proposition to contain the anger; protest movement has evolved into massive demonstrations in June 30 2013, prompting the Field Marshal “Abdel Fattah al-Sisi” to take the decision to terminate his reign. Then the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court “Adly Mansour” was assigned to rule the country as an interim until holding early presidential elections.

Al-Sisi’ decision was one of the most important turning points in the path of democratic transition in Egypt; one of the largest Arab countries that witnessed revolutions. Such decision created vast reactions between supporters and opponents with the escalation in the pace of bloody clashes and violence in all provinces, with the highest magnitude in Cairo. With the row over to call it a coup or a revolution, the military ended the rule of the “Muslim Brotherhood” and began a new phase of which features are not yet clear. Field Marshal “Al-Sisi” was able to create a vast popularity for himself, and started talking about the possibility of his candidacy for the presidency. Although his first speeches were denying this possibility, where the military has firmly confirmed that their mission is limited to civilian arrangements to ensure a peaceful transition of power in accordance with the requirements of the constitution, which was disrupted in July 3, 2013 (i.e. they were mainly entrusted with rectification of the revolutionary path), but a new statement appeared confirming that “Al-Sisi” may stand for election if people demand it and if the army authorizes it. This statement provoked a storm of reactions among those who saw the decision as a normal end of military coup and those who supported and welcomed “Al-Sisi” as president of Egypt.

This reflects nothing but serious shifts in the Arab Spring revolutions path, where the Arab movement led to the arrival of specific currents to power, which has created huge obstacles facing the emergence of the modern civil state; obstacles of cognitive, political and social nature, and the direction of the Arab Spring countries toward typical religious-military state.

The support of broad categories to “Al-Sisi” could be understood through looking up the German thinker “Max Weber” studies of politics and ideology of force; where he confirmed that “as far as societies become more complex, the domination by force becomes the only solution for the continuity of the state”. It seems that “Al-Sisi” – by his request for a mandate from the people and the army – only wants to “legitimize” his power and use it in a way that authority is transformed into an “honor” to practice it.

There is no doubt that there are many psychological motivations that influence the political behavior of individuals and groups, paying an individual to obedience and submission. These motivations are simply “fear and hope”; fear of disturbances and deepening crises, and hope to change the political situation with any possible alternatives. The authority in control is not satisfied with such motives that urge the individual to only obey; rather it seeks the “recognition” as the authority that has the right to dominate. It is also striving to appear as “legitimate” as possible, and this is precisely what is happening in Egypt today.

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About the Author: Mohamed Ismail Ahmed

Read More Articles by Mohamed Ismail Ahmed: 4 Articles with 1046 views »
Political writer and Journalist, Editor-In-Chief of Alphabet Press U.K. Member of Reporters Without Borders, Cairo Foreign Press Association, Interna.. View More
13 Dec, 2016 Views: 223


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