15 June 2012

This Ain't Good

The Egyptian Army has blockaded parliament:
Egypt’s military rulers moved to consolidate power Friday on the eve of the presidential runoff election, shutting down the Islamist-led Parliament, locking out lawmakers and seizing the sole right to issue laws even after a new head of state takes office.

The generals effectively abandoned their previous pledge to cede power to a civilian government by the end of the month, prolonging the increasingly tortuous political transition after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year. The power play has also darkened the prospects that Egypt, the most populous Arab state and one that historically has had tremendous influence on the direction of the region, might quickly emerge as a model of democracy for the Middle East.

Their moves, predicated on a court ruling on Thursday and announced with little fanfare by the state news media, make it likely that whoever wins the presidential race will — at least at first — compete with the generals for power and influence. The military counsel also indicated through the official news media that it planned to issue a new interim constitution and potentially select its own panel to write a permanent charter. The generals have already sought permanent protections for their autonomy and political power.
Additionally, there are indications that the military is preparing to engage in massive voter fraud on behalf of the Mubarak hack running for President:
The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsy is tempering forecasts of victory in Egypt's presidential election with a warning that vote rigging typical of the Hosni Mubarak era may hand victory to Ahmed Shafik, the deposed leader's last prime minister.

On the eve of the run-off, Morsy, 60, hopes a big turnout of voters worried about a revival of the old regime will prevent that outcome and make him Egypt's first Islamist president.

But after a court ruling by judges appointed under Mubarak dissolved a new parliament in which the Brotherhood was the main force, momentum appears to have ebbed away from Morsy, reflecting a broader sense that a political transition which had brought his movement dramatic gains is no longer going its way.
What a surprise, the generals like running things.

With a real civilian government, their control of much of the economy would be at risk, and the the gravy train would end.


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