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Arab Spring … Turns to Winter?

Last week newly elected Egyptian president Mursi proclaimed he had ultimate authority and his decisions would not be eligible for judicial review. Following a surge in protests the president backtracked somewhat, stating that his power would be only of temporary nature.

Al Arabiya: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi reiterated on Sunday the “temporary nature” of his decrees, saying he wanted dialogue with political forces.
The presidency said Mursi needed to hold to account those responsible for crimes, corruption of “previous regime” and transitional period.
“This declaration is deemed necessary in order to hold accountable those responsible for the corruption as well as other crimes during the previous regime and the transitional period,” the presidency statement said.

But as those hopeful for democratic changes to this country have called for a nationwide strike, the Muslim Brotherhood spoke out encouraging others to stand with President Mursi. Activists once again are gathering in Tahrir Square, concerned that they have replaced one dictator with another. Secular protestors are concerned that the new Mursi administration enforce Sharia Law on Egyptian society.

Times of India: Speculation about the ulterior motives of the Islamists — and debate as to whether the Brotherhood is a truly moderate political force, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing that will reveal its true intolerant colours after monopolising power — are critical to the endless confrontations Egypt is witnessing. This underlying fear of Islamists and questions of whether they are genuinely democratic in a liberal sense pervade the entire Middle East. Egypt is the test case for the thesis that Islamism and democracy can coexist. Every move Morsi makes to override what he derides as a “minority” of obstructionists will be scrutinised warily by citizens and establishments in the region.

Is this decree of power a political road map to a second dictatorship? One has to wonder what the effects of such a personal power grab will be.

 

 

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