Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crisis in Egypt: Morsi at Precipice after Disastrous Year

    Tuesday, July 02, 2013   No comments

On Monday, the Egyptian Army issued President Mohammed Morsi an ultimatum: He has 48 hours to come up with a plan for the country or it will intervene with one of its own. The tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters who had been demonstrating since Sunday in Tahrir Square broke out into cheers when the ultimatum was announced.

Yet Morsi has shown no indication that he is prepared to back down. On Tuesday, despite widespread dissatisfaction with his rule and a crumbling cabinet, he released a statement of his own, saying that he will continue on the course he has charted. As if to underline Morsi's increasing isolation, his foreign minister, Mohamed Kamel Amr, threw in the towel on Tuesday morning. He is the sixth member of Morsi's government to quit over the escalating crisis.

Disillusionment with Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's first democratically elected president, is widespread following the past year of his rule. Results, after all, have been disastrous. Instead of freeing his country from an ongoing political and economic crisis, Morsi has deepened the suffering. Instead of bringing reconciliation to Egypt, he has sown discord. Mass protests have repeatedly shown how polarized the most populous country in the Arab world has become. Indeed, just on Sunday, several people lost their lives in violent anti-Morsi protests in the heart of Cairo.

"My country has never been as divided, frustrated and radicalized as it is today," says German-Egyptian author Hamed Abdel-Samad.


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