By S Ubaid (NVONews.com0
Even as the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political front of the Muslim Brotherhood, is claiming a big victory in the presidential election held on June 16-17 in Egypt––the official announcement has not yet been made––the Supreme Constitutional Court’s last week verdict declaring the election of one-third of members of Parliament unconstitutional and illegitimate, has allowed the military junta to issue a new decree granting itself the massive new levels of power. This will leave the new president with no control over the military operation.
The army issued a decree on Sunday as voting ended which clipped the wings of the President by setting strict limits on his powers and reclaiming the lawmaking prerogatives held by the Assembly it dissolved last week.
The last week rulings further consolidated powers in the hands of army, after the justice ministry gave the generals and intelligence service extraordinary powers to arrest, detain and prosecute civilians without judicial warrants.
Whatever be the margin, all reports suggest that Dr Mohammed Mursi of Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is ahead of Ahmed Shafiq, the last Prime Minister of the then President, Hosni Mubarak. But now the result has become somewhat immaterial as the army has made a back door entry.
Anyway Mursi’s victory will bring to end the six-decades long direct rule by military in the country.
The second round of voting on Saturday-Sunday saw a relatively low voter turnout, with many people fearing that the vote would be rigged on Shafiq’s behalf.
Had Shafiq and not Mursi won it would have left the military with a pliable enough figurehead. In that case the revolution would have lost all its meaning as Shafiq had publicly declared that he considers Mubarak as his “role model”.
With Mursi’s victory yet to be announced it is to seen how the relationship between him and army develops in the future.
Political observers are of the view that many in the army would certainly like to keep Mursi weak.
If the military remains powerful, many analysts fear, it would be almost back to square one in the country.
But then the military would lost all its credibility too which it gained in the last one and a half years by conducting free and fair election. It was earlier supposed to hand over the charge completely to the new President by July 1.
Many Egypt watchers apprehend that it is unclear who will rule the country. What is clear is that Egypt is no closer to stability and a predictable path to the future than before.
The new president will, in reality, be subordinate for some time at least to the 20-man military council which last year pushed Mubarak aside to appease street protests.
Many experts are of the view that this shows army’s reluctance to share power with Muslim Brotherhood. It shows the extent to which the generals are willing to go to maintain their interest and their stranglehold on power.
The worry for the military, which is still pro-US, is that the Brotherhood could eventually challenge their position, just as Islamist AK Party had done in Turkey. The military also worries that Islamists with their fiery anti-Israel rhetoric will weaken the deal with the Zionist state.