Egypt’s ruling military junta is positioning itself to keep the reins of power even after elections take place, prompting outrage and criticism among Egyptians of all political persuasions. Critics, meanwhile, are being silenced by the regime. And talk of a “second revolution” is becoming more widespread.
Among the most contentious issues is a proposal by the Egyptian cabinet — hand picked by the military — to ensure that civilian government cannot meddle in the affairs of the armed forces. Because the military regime would be recognized as the guarantor of “constitutional legitimacy,” analysts said the junta would in effect continue to rule without any limits to its power. Even its budget would be secret.
The scheme would also give the military the ability to virtually exclude elected representatives from the process of drafting a new constitution, with 80 percent of the delegates being selected by the generals. And all it takes for the proposal to become binding is approval from the two dozen generals on the “Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.”
Critics say the uprising that overthrew “President” Hosni Mubarak in February was aimed at ushering in real reforms — not cementing military rule. So far, however, with largely pointless “elections” tentatively scheduled for next year or 2013, not much has changed.
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Photo: Egypt's military ruler field marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, left, and Sami Anan Egyptian chief of staff of the armed forces, are surrounded by military policemen in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 16, 2011: AP Images