Sites of Interest
(courtesy Empire Burlesque)
A Tiny Revolution
William Blum/Killing Hope
The Distant Ocean
Welcome to the Sideshow
Mark Crispin Miller
Crooks and Liars
Black Agenda Report
The Raw Story
Iraq Vets Against the War
Blues and Dreams
Bright Terrible Spirit
Some of the key players, like the Muslim Brotherhood, have even threatened to resort to violence if things don’t come their way.
The political scene in Egypt nowadays is pretty tense and rather precarious; SCAF is reluctant to cede power; Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is desperately trying to grab the seat of presidency, especially [now] that the parliament it controlled 75% of has been legally disbanded by the supreme constitutional court. And forces from the old regime, supporting the presidential candidate, Mr. Ahmed Shafik are eyeing to catch what they consider the last train to the presidential palace.
Last Sunday, June 17, the polls of the run-off presidential elections closed after two days of voting, that has been closely monitored by local and international human rights groups.
And guess what, yes, that’s right …, the first post Mubarak presidential elections have been fair and square. And the initial tallies indicate that the race between Mohamed Morsi, the MB candidate and Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister has been so close that the next president will probably win by 51% of the total votes.
The whole vote, which lasted for two successive days, in more than 12000 major polling stations all over Egypt was as democratic and transparent as that of the late French presidential elections.
That said, SCAF, having no control over the result of the presidential vote, has surprised everybody just hours before the polls were closed with a preemptive act; a new constitutional annex.
In the declaration, SCAF has transferred, or usurped to be exact, some of the top powers reserved for the president to the ruling military junta.
According to the amendments, the upcoming president will not be the commander in chief; he won’t be able to declare war, won’t have oversight over the military budget or armament, while the military will retain the legislative authorities until a new parliament is elected and will have the final say in security matters especially at times of turmoil and riots. In short, the constitutional annex is transferring power from SCAF to SCAF.
The week before the Egyptian runoff elections, the Israeli defense forces (IDF) has issued emergency call up orders to six reserve battalions in light of new dangers on the Egyptian borders and the repeated attacks that were allegedly launched against Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. And the Knesset has given the IDF permission to summon a further 16 reserve battalions if necessary.
And in response, the Egyptian second army has been put on high alert. A military source added that lots of armored vehicles and tanks have been pushed to the borders with Israel and vital targets have been secured like the Suez Canal waterway.
Interestingly, two days after the closing of the electoral polls, Egyptian security forces seized a huge arms shipment smuggled from Libya and other countries and allegedly destined to the Gaza Strip or Sinai. Confiscated in the bust are 40 surface-to-surface missiles, a launching pad, 17 RPG rockers, and 120mm mortar shell launch-pad, seven assault rifles, surveillance equipment and over 10,000 rounds.
On Thursday, and as the former President Mubarak lies in a military hospital amid conflicting reports of his clinical death, the high electoral commission is due to declare the winner of the presidential run-off elections amid deep polarization, frustration over the failure to yet draft the new constitution and anger over dissolving the body of an elected parliament.