Update: I still refuse to believe that this is some developing situation, regarding the army – and that they were moved by protests. Sami Anan’s resignation, the mid-protest statement, and the newspaper headlines seem very well-timed and in calculatingly perfect succession.
But it is no fait accompli, and there I really do not think they intend to oust him. I suspect this is indeed blow back for what must have been a genuine ‘forced retiring’ of Former Defence Minister and Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff and Lieutenant General Sami Anan. Morsi must have felt he had a reliable partner in al-Sisi, but it would appear that this was a miscalculation. Or at least that has been made brutally clear to him at the worst possible time. And the newspaper headlines are inked proof that Morsi cannot rule a newspaper if they do not let him. This may be comical, but it should not be.
I suspect the military feared he might face them down eventually. But anyone who’s observed a Brotherhood-affiliated educational facility might not be totally shocked. Still, the calls for Morsi’s ouster are very widespread – and did originate in radical camps a while back. Headlines of ‘international pressure’ have also been mounting. But it is not clear just how popular these calls are, though they are very vocal.
I had thought about this, and ironically al-Gama’ah al-Islamiyyah apparently just endorsed it [they’ve subsequently denied that], but Morsi could and should have considered a straight up-and-down referendum on his presidency – which was the way presidential elections were run in Egypt until 2005. But opinion polls suggest he would probably lose.
Were I Morsi, in my capacity as President of the Republic, I would immediately call for the formation of a 25-30 person ‘National Salvation Council’ or ‘Renaissance Council,’ or whatever, to be selected by himself, al-Sisi, Mohammed el-Baradei, Adli Mansour, Ahmed el-Tayyeb – more or less as many people outside the immediate circle of the Brotherhood. At this rate, he should be a lot more concerned with pleasing everyone but his base – because his base is a lot more likely to forgive him than everyone else.
In any event, this relatively socially broad committee – not solely comprised of personalities one would hope – would select an equally broad 100 person constituent assembly – hopefully better than the last few. They would write a constitution. Subsequent to this constitution, Parliamentary elections would occur – after a longer time for preparation, though not necessarily campaigning, period than the previous time. Morsi would remain president and steward this process. It could very well be his legacy, but it would no doubt accomplish his goal of safeguarding legitimacy.
This solution, I think, would be least desirable to the military because even though much of it involves what they did, would do, and would have to do anyway, they would not have outright control of the process. That is ultimately what led to this point. There is almost every reason to believe that it will lead to this point. Or worse, it will lead back to 1952 – so we will be back around to this scenario in 2072.
Unbelievably, this is apparently al-Ahram’s Wednesday headline. It is possible that this is the result of – a little ironically – military intervention within al-Ahram.