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New Egypt versus the Felool: Struggle for Democracy

What happened in Egypt? The Egyptian regime moved to the offensive prior to the presidential elections, and the military and the judiciary did everything in their power to prevent Mohamed Morsi from becoming president and curtailed his powers and dissolved the parliament. Morsi, however, issued a decree granting himself broad powers and used his new authority to order the retrial of Mubarak. Egypt will continue to struggle between painful democratization and tutelage regime.

New Egypt versus the Felool Struggle for Democracy
Supporters of Egyptian President Mursi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood chant slogans during rally in Cairo. REUTERS/Amr Dalsh

After 29 years and 120 days of the Mubarak regime, Egypt has embarked on a new era. Egypt—a country with the oldest tradition of modernization in the region—had not been governed by a civilian since 1953 until the recent election of its first civilian president, Mohamed Morsi. The military regime, after having kept its cool during the revolution and the parliamentary elections, went on the offensive right before the presidential elections and intervened in politics. Following the military’s lead the judiciary dissolved the parliament and the constitutional drafting committee, as well as limiting the powers of the president that would be elected. The actors of the revolution all of a sudden found themselves facing a judiciary coup. They had two choices. Either they could take to the streets in protest, or they could ignore the judiciary and demand that the presidential election continue as planned. The Ikhwan, as the pioneer of the opposition, opted for the second choice. This did not mean that the struggle against the tutelage of the military-judiciary collaboration had ended. The battle was lost, but the fight was going to be carried on with the first victory to the public in the presidential elections. The expected happened after the elections. The forces of the military-judiciary tutelage and the president-elect embarked on a controversial political tug of war for power. It would be useful to remind the reader the history of this struggle. 

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