A Weekend from Hell

A soft coup?

The level of political turbulence and uncertainty in Egypt will peak this weekend. As of today, the FJP and their allies were still trying to assemble the Constituent assembly; however, they seem to be making the same mistakes of the last round. Thursday, the Supreme Constitutional Court will make two critical verdicts. The first may invalidate all or part of the Parliament, thus depriving the FJP and Salafis of their legislative majority. The second may disqualify Shafiq from the Presidential election, with uncertain consequences. On Friday, the unhappy party or parties from the Thursday verdict will probably be demonstrating in Tahrir! Saturday and Sunday we may (or may not) have the second round of the Presidential elections.

Over the next three days, we will have a verdict on the Constituent assembly, Parliament, and Presidential election! If the three institutions are invalidated, this will constitute soft coup! It will be impractical to repeat all the elections immediately, so the implication is another 6-12 additional months, or longer, under the reign of SCAF. This scenario will likely include a new constitutional declaration issued by SCAF, and potentially some interim President (if Shafiq is disqualified). However, the chances of this scenario are slim.

There are so many other potential scenarios; however, deep inside, I cannot imagine a scenario that includes Morsy as a President. I cannot imagine the military and security apparatus subordinating itself to Morsy and the FJP and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The other likely scenario is Shafiq as a President, co-existing with the FJP-controlled Parliament, and an extended constitution-making process.

Either scenario (or combination) implies 2-4 more years under military rule, whether directly or through Shafiq. How the new regime will be received depends on the deals that they are willing to cut with the MB, Salafis, and liberal parties to appease them. either way, it is unlikely that things will calm down after this round of elections.

Amin ElMasry. 14 June 2012.

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