The Rebellion Movement Denounces Mansour’s Constitutional Principles as Dictatorial

If the Egyptian military and judicial elite thought that they could use the youthful Rebellion Movement, which put three or four million demonstrators in the streets a week and a half ago, to restore the status quo before the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, they probably miscalculated.

Rebellion denounced as “dictatorial” interim president Adly Mansour’s Monday declaration of the constitutional principles that would guide Egypt during the transition to a new constitution. The principles gave the president way too much power, including the power to appoint cabinet ministers (even though he is appointing a new prime minister), and they do not sufficiently safeguard individual liberties, Rebellion coordinator Mahmoud Badr said.

Badr announced that Mansour had agreed to amend the constitutional declaration. He told the newspaper “al-Misri al-Yawn” that Rebellion had expressed reservations about the constitutional declaration, including the paragraphs related to expanded powers for the president, to the role of the two houses of parliament, and the drafting committee for the constitution.

Badr had complained at Rebellion’s Facebook page that the organization had not been consulted about the constitutional declaration before it was announced, and that it had not been shown, either, to Dr. Muhammad Elbaradei, and both were surprised, as was everyone else. Elbaradei is admired by many Egyptian youth and has been appointed as a vice president for foreign affairs.

Mansour, who has no grass roots power base other than potentially the Rebellion Movement, might face demonstrations against himself if he continues to act so high-handedly. And it seems that he knows it.

Mansour on Tuesday appointed Hazem Biblawi, a well-regarded economist, as prime minister.

Deposed president Muhammad Morsi had been a poor steward of the economy, and Biblawi at least has some idea of the necessary steps to recovery.

Biblawi was greeted warmly in his new position by the hard line fundamentalist Salafi movement, which appears to have rejoined the ruling coalition. Manour wants the Salafis inside the ruling coalition if at all possible. That way, he can claim support from a stratum of the religious Right in Egypt and does not absolutely need the Muslim Brotherhood.

After the horrific shooting by the army of 51 Muslim Brothers in front of the Republican Guards’ barracks on Monday morning, Egypt has been extremely tense, but there was not substantial new violence on Tuesday. Interim President Mansour says that he is appointed a commission to investigate the deaths.

12 Responses

  1. REBELLION is needed now more than ever and needs to remind the senior citizens that this movement, like 25 Janurary is a revolution against the policies as well as dictatorship of Mubarak and others sharing his neo-liberal philosophy. They need to remind the interim government that they MUST put the demands of Tahrir [ayesh, hurriyya, ‘adala ijtimaiyya and karaama insaniyya]as their mission. Instead, it seems the so-called “liberal” old guard seems to be as deaf as its predecessors about what caused the uprising.

    I was dismayed, but not surprised, that this new economy-oriented government is putting IMF demands as priorities, in other words, yet more pain for the Egyptians that have allowed them to emerge. Just look at this attitude:

    “Of course, we respect the public opinion and we try to comply with the expectation of the people but there is always a time of choice. There is more than one alternative, you cannot satisfy all of the people.”

    This may or may not have been a military coup but it is sure looking like a neo-liberal “felloul” coup hiding behind geriatric “liberals.” Someone on Egyptian TV the other night noted that this interim government is absolutely the wrong age set for running today’s Egypt; the OLDEST member of the 1952 government was 43!

  2. Well, it didn’t take long for the anti-Morsi coalition to start breaking apart. But my gut says that if the Tamaroud thought they could use the military against the state and then have the military just do exactly what they want and go away, it was the Rebels who miscalculated, not the military.

  3. Old Chinese proverb:

    One sculptor can turn a block of marble into a Venus De Milo. One hundred sculptors will turn it into chips.

  4. It ain’t always age, it is always behavior. There are basic needs that a population that makes the wealth the rulers live off off ought to have met. But as long as the “behaviors,” which the cognoscenti dignify with the title of “policies,” go beyond the level of predation and parasitism that keep those basic needs from being even minimally satisfied, the rulers are gonna have some ‘splainin’ to doo. Eventually.

    In the political sphere, what would be the equivalent of “business model?” Or, as we are seeing more of with the activities of that thing we are still stupid enough to call the “National Security Agency,” linked organizationally and by “interlocking directorates” with the rest of the “state security” apparatus and the pseudopodia of the MIC, is there no longer any sensible distinction between “business” and “politics,” so that what these old guys and greedy young and younger people elsewhere are doing, grabbing for all the MORE OF EVERYTHING they can get by beggaring their neighbors while preaching faithful adherence to some religious codex or another, best described as a “business model” as surely as what the Koch brothers, and our post- and supra-national Vampire Squids and other diseases, are doing here in what used to be America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?

    I bet we can all take comfort that “neo-liberal policies,” applied under the blandishments of the IMF and World Bank, will do another bang-up job of bringing “stability and prosperity” to yet another tributary part of the planet…

  5. Juan,
    What do you think about this survey, it says that 63% of Egyptians are against the coup! link to ecmeg.com
    I think Elbaradei will lose lots of his credibility by cooperating with this interim government. I am also not sure if being the VP for foreign affairs is the really crucial role he needs to play? He needs to work on reconciling the political players and not be an international propaganda face of the new army backed government.

  6. “It is now officially a coup,” said Nathan Brown, a political scientist specializing in Egyptian law at George Washington University.

    Justice Potter said in a very famous ruling “I know it, when i see it.” And it was a clear coup for the ultimatum.

    More news from Egypt, Al-Azhar is rebelling against General Al-Sisi. Sheikh Dr. Hassan Al-Shafi’i senior advisor to Sheikh Al-Azhar (basically like the highest cardinal that works closely with the Pope) issued a very strongly worded statement to General Al-Sisi. He also warned a Al-Sisi.

    Here is the link to video if you would like to watch it (i translated some of the things he said): link to laseptiemewilaya.wordpress.com

  7. I believe that the support of the hard line fundamentalist Salafi movement is key to Mr. Mansour gaining massive public acceptance while in this transitory period.

  8. Hey Perfesser, given the tenor and substance of all the comments about what’s afoot in Egypt, so much in the way of odds-makers doing their handicapping, maybe you could frame up a Fantasy Socioeconopolitical L:eague! With rounds based on each rollover coupulation, and “player drafts” and trades, the whole simulation! With an ante and a pot big enough to make it interesting!

    Just like the real world, where it’s all about personalities and clout and where the money and influence flows. Wouldn’t that be fun? Lots of little play markers, from Sikorsky and Sukhoi and Boeing and Oerlikon and such, with the pot to be held by the World Bank! A much improved, more “mature” version of the Game of RISK tm!

  9. I was confused by this article and had to re-read it. The controversy is not over the shape of the new constitution, but rather the character of the transition government for the next 5 months.

    Sounds like Mansour has already agreed to make concessions, so I don’t see why this more than a minor dust-up. I guess nerves are very much on edge, and groups are quick to throw-out words like “dictatorial” and “martyrdom.”

    • It is far more than a mild dust-up because the interim President was supposed to have done all this extensive consulting with stakeholds, not just in the parties, but with the revolutionary youth BEFORE announcing anything. The consensus-building meetings that took place right after Morsi’s departure faded away as the military and their judicial allies started making decisions all by themselves with only SELECTIVE consultations. As a result, they have had to, a la Morsi, walk back “decisions.” Even if, once again, the generals and their state peers think they can tell “the people” to sit down and be quiet while they deciding, they won’t be able to get away with it any more than Morsi did. 25 January 2011 changed all that! The streets and the people are still around and ready to remind their masters what the goals of said revolution were.

      • You could be right Mr. Visitor, certainly we continue to see troubling incompetence, at best.

        I’m keeping my rose-colored glasses on and hoping for the best (until they should get knocked-off by a civil war.) As ugly as the killing was several days ago, it is encouraging that all sides seem to be reacting at horror at the event.

        I believe Egypt today is more likely to stumble towards a better place than it was two weeks ago. Truth be told predictions are worthless and impossible.

  10. REBEL, n. A proponent of a new misrule who has failed to establish it. [A.Bierce]
    Egypt lacks discourse of what is the desirable future of country, peaceful fights.

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