Morsi Overthrown, Top Judge Sworn In as New Egyptian Interim President

From al-Jazeera

“Top judge Adly Mansour has been sworn in as Egypt interim president, hours after Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in a military coup following huge protests against his one-year rule.

Mansour took the oath of interim president on Thursday, as his democratically elected predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, was held in an unspecified military barracks along with senior aides.

Before the constitutional court, Mansour said: “I swear by God to uphold the Republican system and respect the constitution and law… and safeguard the people and protect the nation.”

“The revolutionaries of Egypt are everywhere and we salute them all, those who prove to the world that they are strong enough, the brave youth of Egypt, who were the leaders of this revolution.” 

As of now most of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership is being detained by the Army, including former President Mohammad Morsi. It is uncertain as to whether they will be charged with any crime or when they will be released. My guess is that how they are treated will determine what type of reaction we can expect from their fellow Islamists, who have rallied by the thousands to protest Morsi’s removal. Keep in mind that the last thing the military wants is more unrest and instability while they are trying to rebuild the government.

In a written statement, President Obama said that he was “deeply concerned” about the ongoing situation in Egypt and called on the Egyptian military to “move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process.”

Meanwhile countries like Saudi Arabia congratulated Mansour on taking power, with King Abdullah being quoted as saying “In my own name and on behalf of the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I congratulate you on assuming the leadership of Egypt at this critical point of its history.”  Other nations, did not have as kind words for the new Egyptian regime. Turkey’s foreign minister, representing a country ruled by an Islamist party similar to the Muslim Brotherhood, described Morsi’s overthrow as “unacceptable.”

Most of the time, a military coup is a bad thing. In effect it’s the military overriding a democratic election and taking power that belongs to the civilian government. However, Egypt is a special case. There are indications that Morsi abused his authority and that he and the Muslim Brotherhood were leading Egypt on a path away from democracy. And it is important to keep in the mind that this military coup didn’t happen all of the sudden. There were weeks of protest and by the time the 48-hour ultimatum was made there were millions of people in the streets asking the army to take action.

Giving what day it is today, I think this quote says it best:

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”- Declaration of Independence, July 4th 1776

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