Egypt expert ′fears unrest′ after court ruling | Africa | DW | 15.06.2012
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Egypt expert 'fears unrest' after court ruling

A decision by Egypt's supreme court to dissolve the parliament has plunged the country into turmoil and uncertainty. Political analyst Hamadi El-Aouni expects a prolonged political stalemate.

Egyptian protesters outside the Supreme Constitutional court in Cairo

The court ruling has tipped Egypt into turmoil

Hamadi El-Aouni is a political scientist from Tunisia. He teaches at the Free University of Berlin's department of economics, focusing on transition in Arab societies, political systems and international affairs. He spoke to DW about a surprise court ruling that overturned last year's parliamentary elections.

DW: The Muslim Brotherhood has described the dissolution of the parliament as a state coup. What do you make of this?

Hamadi El-Aouni

Hamadi El-Aouni is worried about a prolonged period of political uncertainty

Hamadi El-Aouni: I still don't know the reason for the Supreme Constitutional Court's ruling. You have to take the events together. First, the Supreme Constitutional Court's ruling to dissolve the parliament, and then the acquittal of Mubarak's sons and others who gave orders to kill demonstrators. I think there's a direct link between the two. Maybe it's not the entire military establishment, but remnants of the old regime are still active and are trying to turn back the wheel of history.

How do you explain the Supreme Constitutional Court overturning the results of last year's parliamentary elections just two days before a runoff presidential poll?

It was probably meant to be an additional pressure tool in favor of the candidate of the old regime, Ahmed Shafiq. The first reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood was that they threatened to withdraw their candidate, Mohammed Mursi. The revolutionary youth too urged Mursi to take this step to avoid bestowing legitimacy on the second elections. But Mursi wants to run in the election, he wants to be Egypt's president. His sole party platform is to block the old regime from taking the reins again.

You mentioned that the event is linked to the acquittal of Mubarak's sons. Who do you think is behind all this? Do the old guard and the military want to get rid of the Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood in this way?

Egyptian election banners

The poll battle has been dominated by Shafik and Morsi

They're playing off each other. Both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood want to rule Egypt in their own way. However, the Muslim Brotherhood's record so has been pretty negative. So far, they're only interested in getting power. But the Muslim Brotherhood has managed to achieve one thing – the people have discovered a certain aversion towards Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood's totalitarian claim to power has angered the people. But the military is not without blame either whether it's the court ruling on Mubarak's sons or the decision of the Supreme Constitutional Court. The old guard is still there with all its secret service and police force. And they're powerful. They are two powers competing against each other: the military with its candidate Ahmed Shafiq, and the Islamists with their patrons in the Gulf region and in the U.S.

It seems that the two different camps are only interested in securing their own power. What does this mean for the nascent democratic process in Egypt?

I fear that there will be unrest and this will not be to the advantage of the military or the Muslim Brotherhood. I suspect that some figures will come up with some programs and probably take power. And then there's a possibility there will be a consensus. In any case, the presidential runoff elections on the weekend won't produce a solution, regardless of who wins.

Could this be described as a decisive moment between the continuation of the revolution or the Arab Spring and a counterrevolution?

The revolution will go on, but the counterrevolution has been there right from the beginning. It just hasn't been described that way. Revolution and counterrevolution served different methods, and took different forms, in the end. They work side by side as well as against each other, from the beginning till this day. I fear this will continue, probably for months.

What role does the West play in this complex political constellation?

A negative one. The West has taken the side of the Muslim Brotherhood under the motto "okay, then they should try." But it's poison, the people aren't buying it. The people are asking themselves, what kind of a West is this? The West wants democracy yet is allowing totalitarians to come to power, the West is protecting and supporting them. The people don't understand that. But that's the reality.

Who do you think will emerge the winner of the presidential runoff elections?

Probably Mohammed Mursi.

Author: Sabine Hartert-Mojdehi / sp
Editor: Sonya Diehn

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