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2012: Muslim Brotherhood's Political Failures, Democracy Breaches


CAIRO – 13 July 2018: Following the January revolution in 2011 and the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian youth have tried democracy probably for the first time in the 2012 elections, but were obviously disappointed after facing a very hard choice in its second round.

Eventually, they had to choose between Ahmed Shafik, who served as the minister of civil aviation in the era of Mubarak, and Mohamed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which they did not know well as it was almost silenced by Mubarak.

Millions of Egyptians headed to polling stations to vote for Morsi who died earlier this year during a trial, but only one year following his ruling, millions including former Morsi supporters took to the streets on June 30, 2013, calling on him to “leave” his post. Morsi was ousted a few days later.

On August 14, 2013, policemen and hundreds of Morsi supporters in Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda squares died during the dispersal of the protests, which called for returning the so-called legitimate president.

In 2012, the year Morsi ruled, Egyptians have been angered by Muslim Brotherhood political failures and democracy breaches.

Constitution referendum

In a step that seems democratic, Morsi announced that the Egyptian Constituent Assembly would vote on a new constitution in late 2012. The constitution was seen to be biased to the MB, as Islamist members reportedly represented 76 percent of the Assembly. In addition, legal experts thought it was full of defects.

A more balanced assembly was then formed, including police and army personnel, and representatives of Egypt’s churches. On November 16, a few days before the vote, Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical churches in Egypt announced their withdrawal from the assembly, as it did not support religious pluralism, according to a unified statement from the churches.

Civil movements’ leaders, including Amr Moussa, former secretary-general of the Arab League; Gaber Nassar, former head of Cairo University; Anwar Esmat al-Sadat, nephew of late President Sadat; in addition to human activists, church representatives and more than 20 members of the assembly, withdrew from the assembly.

However, Morsi insisted on not postponing the voting process and the Muslim Brotherhood amassed more than 10.6 million votes in favor of the constitution, while more than 6 million votes opposed it.

Changeable stance, false promises

Khairat al-Shater, deputy supreme guide of the MB group at the time, claimed in the interview that the military institution said that it was delighted by the MB’s decision not to run for presidency or seek the majority of seats in the Parliament.

However, in January 2012, it was announced that the MB’s political wing, Freedom and Justice Party, won 235 total seats in the Egyptian Parliament, which represented about 47 percent of the total parliamentarian seats. The FJP was formed following the January revolution.

Moreover, on March 31, 2012, Mohamed Badie, the MB supreme guide, announced that Shater requested to resign from the group to run for president, after he was nominated by the MB. Shater said that he had never thought of taking up an executive post in the state; however, he had to abide by the group’s commands.

Less than a month later, the Egyptian election authority rejected the request of Shater to run for president, due to national legal procedures; the MB leaders were not surprised. Few days before the exclusion of Shater, the group reportedly prepared Morsi as an alternative. Apparently, the group did not dare to risk the chance.

Morsi won the presidential election with reportedly more than 13 million votes, representing about 51.7 percent of the electorate in the second round of the 2012 presidential election, to become the first elected president since the ousting of Mubarak.

Morsi thought he would satisfy people by promising them to solve problems concerning fuel, traffic, security and bread in 100 days. However, many people complained that Morsi failed to fulfill his promise.

The first 100 days of Morsi’s term were not successful, former parliamentarian Bassel Adel told CNN.

Adel claimed that Morsi wasted 40 percent of his time travelling abroad although the 100-day program and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Nahda presidential program which Morsi adopted focused on the internal affairs. In addition, Morsi was late forming the Cabinet which had not shown its efficiency up till now, he said.

Hamdi Bekheit, a military expert, claimed that the Nahda project needs 15 years in order to be achieved. He told CNN that the president and the ruling party exploited the ignorance and unawareness of many people, making promises they cannot fulfill. He added that the Nahda project needed a higher budget than the country could bear at the time.

Bekheit said that the security situation in Sinai had been worsened during the rule of Morsi and the MB, claiming that Morsi released prisoners [arrested during the January revolution] to distract people from questioning him about his promise.

On the other hand, Morsi claimed in the October War anniversary in 2012 that he has fulfilled 70 percent of the goals during his first 100 days.
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