Pharaoh Morsi’s new Egyptian pyramid scheme?

hosni and mubarak

Spot the difference! Morsi (L.), Mubarak (R.)

President Morsi of Egypt has been in power since the end of June, 2012. Not an easy job, I’m sure we all agree.

But, given the entire social groundswell process under which he was swept into this position, what should we make of his latest moves?

What’s a pyramid scheme?

Definition: “A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.” [Wikipedia]

One plus, one minus

On the positive side, he was responsible for brokering a ceasefire between the state of Israel and the Hamas leadership of Gaza. That must be applauded, even though the Israelis have since shot one protesting Gazan farmer and wounded another twenty Palestinians.

So, the minus… ?

His own country is in uproar – to put it mildly. Street demonstrations, stone-throwing, arson attacks on Morsi’s party offices across the territory, fighting after Friday prayers – what’s been going on?

Rule by presidential decree

Mohamed Morsi has, “after comprehensive consultations” (with whom, I wonder), issued a wide-ranging decree that, in effect, provides him with immunity from all judicial investigation, and gives him powers over almost everything while standing up for “the protection of progress and democracy”.

All this, of course, purely and reluctantly on a temporary bias, just until a new constitution is formulated  and new parliamentary elections take place. Sure!

A rather pertinent question

“How can you enact a transition to democracy, instil respect for the rule of law and separate the powers of the judiciary, legislative and executive, by overriding all three?”[1]

Morsi maintains he has “initiated these measures temporarily and unwillingly, when all other options have failed”; but the fact remains that he has done it.

“if he succeeds in pushing a new constitution through, it will halve his power, as Egypt will become a democracy in which an elected prime minister and president will hold equal sway.”[1] Sounds good, doesn’t it? The benevolent despot, forced to enact measures for the ultimate good of – “those others”…

Egypt today

Meanwhile, Egypt now finds itself in a situation where they have to accept  “the power to enact any other measure he [Morsi] deems necessary to deal with any “threat to Egypt’s revolution.”

His predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, ruled Egypt from 1967 until 2012 under emergency laws – purely temporary measures, constantly renewed, of course!

“The law was continuously extended every three years since 1981. Under the law, police powers were extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship was legalized.”[Wikipedia]

What now?

The frantic public demonstrations of frustration and anger on the streets throughout Egypt surely prove that this is not what so many ordinary citizens fought and died for in their Arab Spring.

“This is a crime against Egypt and a declaration of the end of [the] January revolution to serve the interest of the Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship,” wrote Ibrahim Eissa, chief editor of daily Al-Tahrir. “The revolution is over and the new dictator has killed her. His next step is to throw Egypt in prison.”[2]

Well done, the Muslim Brotherhood, it seems! But, ordinary, disenfranchised Egyptian citizens have already seen this before – isn’t that why they’re out on the streets, again?

A self-inked, presidential pen can, with a flourish, sign away all that those Egyptian citizens fought for?

Spring… summer… autumn… winter… spring… ad nauseam…

[1]: The Guardian

[2]: The Independent

Images: thesun.co.uk

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