An Elected President Has Been Deposed: Egypt’s Party Looks Premature

Coups don't have a history of turning out well, and the one that deposed Mohamed Morsi probably won't be an exception

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Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR for TIME

Massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2013, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody

Is there such a thing as a good coup?  It sure can feel like there is, and that feeling – boisterous, ecstatic, flag-waving  – coursed through the streets of Cairo late into Wednesday night and well into Thursday morning, snarling traffic, filling the soft night air with the music of car horns, and almost entirely obscuring what history tells us about the events like those that had just unfolded in Egypt: They tend not to end well.

You don’t have to look far, just a bit south and east.  In the last days of the millennium, joyous crowds carried uniformed soldiers  through the streets of Abidjan after generals took control of the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, in what became known as the Christmas Coup because it occurred on Dec. 24, 1999.  Foreign diplomats privately approved the removal of a corrupt one-party government. Civil society leaders called it an “opportunity.”

“Of course we condemn any coup, because a coup is not a democratic way to come to power,” a former IMF official named Alassane Outtara told me a couple of weeks later.  “But if it’s removing a dictator from power, is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

(PHOTOS: Egyptians Protest the Rule of Morsi, Celebrate Ouster)

Outtara was among those who stood to benefit by the change. Removed from the post of prime minister by the president the generals jailed,  he intended to run for office when fresh elections were scheduled. But the post-coup constitution disqualified his candidacy, and what followed was ten years of civil war fought on the lines of religion and national identity.  When Ouattara finally took office as president, more than ten years later, it was because his electoral victory was enforced by militias supporting his side, who at last cornered his opponent in his villa, where he was famously photographed seated on his bed,  the very picture of dejection.

In Cairo on Wednesday night,  the generalized feeling was one of triumphant relief, though an elected president had been removed, a recently approved constitution suspended, and a peaceful public demonstration cordoned off and shut down by soldiers in armored personnel carriers.   At the sprawling Egyptian Military Academy near Cairo’s airport, cadets stood on the roof facing El-Orouba Road and waved to the parade of honking cars that had slowed to a walking pace, children and flags poking out every open window.  A block off the main highway, in a neighborhood where the Muslim Brotherhood was popular, the streets were silent and the apartment blocks dark.

What might happen when an openly Islamist government is elected, but denied power by the military?  In Algeria, a couple of thousand miles down the Mediterrean Coast, the Islamic National Front won a national ballot in 1991, prompting the military to cancel the election.  A brutal armed insurgency followed, claiming as many as 200,000 lives.

(MORE: Egyptian President’s Ouster Angers His Islamist Supporters)

Egypt is not Algeria, of course.  The Arab Spring, or Awakening, that ventilated Egypt’s politics and empowered its masses did not reach that far. But in the immediate wake of the coup, there was at least a shadow of apprehension over the future on the streets of Cairo, even on the maze of overpasses that overlook Tahrir Square.   Cars were parked all along the freeways there, whole families promenading happily on the 6 October Bridge as it approached the Nile, wide and splendid and throwing back the city’s neon.

At the rail facing south, a student Mohammad Assad stood with two friends,  drinking deeply of the night air and the fact that a president they despised was, suddenly, gone. “He’s f—ed forever,” said Assad, 25, with a satisfied smile.  “”He and the Brotherhood.”

“Goodbye, Morsi,” said his friend,  also named Mohammad.

And the generals? Does he trust them?

Assad kept smiling, but stiffened a bit. “Yes,” he said, “I must.”  He paused, and in a moment  his expression had made it halfway to a wince.   “I must,” he said again.

VIDEO: Crowds Celebrate Morsi’s Departure

240 comments
Regio121
Regio121

if this what Egyptian wanted, then let them have it, but no money or type of aid from the USA. No Money, No Weapon ZERO, will see how strong is your democracy

Ehab Refat
Ehab Refat

This is not a revolution, it is a military coup ، yes military coup

Sayed Zarzoura
Sayed Zarzoura

Appeal to all the free world Sisi pave the way for a new altar to be glued to supporters of Morsi Supporters of the Mursi are only and exclusively in the field of the Renaissance, and Rabaa El Adaweya and in front of the Republican Guard did not and will not go to Tahrir Square or the Federal Palace Alert after abounded news from more than one source, say it to the face of God and the sanctity of blood, leaks of security planning - in the novel of the army - the massacre in Tahrir Square, to glued the Islamists, on towards scenario Algeria. Put it in a true manner Mursi opponents, including the people of the church who Twadhars invited them to come down to Tahrir Square and the Federal Palace State security thugs they come out an Islamic beard and dressed to occur massacre Intended as a legal cover and peoples for the liquidation of supporters of the Islamist Mursi Know that supporters of Mursi, a week ago in the fields of Egypt "Renaissance Square, and Rabaa El Adaweya" In all the provinces did not kill one and did not attack the one God knows that Mursi supporters did not assault anyone, but the thugs who have started assaulting us Testifies to speak "Zagazig massacre" and Alexandria and the Republican Guard, which killed peaceful cold-blooded youth of police forces on visual and hearing of foreign channels and the center of a media blackout and preventing the satellite channels to transfer events

Jomana Adel
Jomana Adel

More than 3 million people came out in a massive revolution in all the governorates of Egypt to overthrow the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood failed and their president, Mohamed Morsi, which is not the head of all the Egyptians, with effect from July 30 until now was finally the liberation of traitors, liars

Shining Hope
Shining Hope

Message from an Egyptian: What is happening in Egypt is not a military coup, but popularly coup, and the Egyptian army has done what only great protection for the people and a victory for his will. We hope the peoples of the world should respect the will of the Egyptian people and that he did not do it, but in order to promote Egypt which has suffered a lot and a lot more.

Mariam El Prince
Mariam El Prince

Hah ! .. we made this revolution to end corruption which means we totally refuse it we don't want any mean of corruption, that what you should understand ... we are free people and this is our country ... democracy is that people choose how to be governed ... and we chose to be governed with out corruption ..and we are able to make this dream come true .. !

Amal Mekawy
Amal Mekawy

For Every American citizen.. Your president is deceiving you.. Your president is funding terrorist cells in middle east Your president is using your money to support fundamentalists.

Amal Mekawy
Amal Mekawy

The media in the west and US is insisting on calling what happened in Egypt with the wrong name! That is understood since the US gov made a deal with Morsi in the benefits of Israel; a deal that they even could not get from Mubarak's regime! What happened in Egypt is that Mursi spent a year in the presidency full of mismanagement and failed to do any good for the country. He even made mistakes that endangered the National security of Egypt, he worked too hard towards "BROTHERHOODIZATION" of the country by installing incompetent people from his group at top positions all over the country, creating a real mess in everyday life for Egyptians (problems with fuel, electricity, water....the basics of everyday life). His actions and decisions were full of "DISRESPECT" to the law and the constitutional system. Having said that, the Egyptians felt the great danger around them if Mursi stayed to finish his 4-years term and decided to call for an early election and "Rebellion" movement was created in April 2013. By June 2013, over 22 millions signed a petition calling for an early presidential election. Mursi decided to use his alliance, a group of terrorists, to threaten Egyptians that they will be "exterminated" if they try to oust Mursi. The Egyptians ignored all the warnings from Mursi's alliance and marched into the street on June 30, 2013 in the biggest political crowd in human history (33 millions) against Mursi. The Military and the police announced that they will protect Egyptians and will not allow anyone to threaten them. The demand for an early election was clear and the military supported what Egyptians called for. Mursi refused to listen to his people and said he is willing to die rather than resigning and going for an early election. In a situation like this, the military has no choice but to oust Mursi and do what Egyptians wanted. Are you still calling this a coup?!

Abanoub Albert
Abanoub Albert

Dear Sirs,Obama This is NOT a military coup, but a real revolution in which millions of Egyptians have participated against all odds, and we would not go back to our homes except after Morsi leaves. We are the Egyptian people claiming back our country and we ask you to be on our side and not the side of a fascistic clan of fundamentalists who believe that the West are nothing but infidels. We are people who love freedom, who hail from a civilization that believes in diversity of religions and races. We are Egypt of the 7,000 years telling you: I revolted we declare our support for egyptian president mansour adly ,egypt's army and police in egypt all necessary make sure to protect egypt from the muslim brotherhood terrorist group

'tarek Omer
'tarek Omer

TTENTIONWhat happened in Egypt is NOT a military coup but simply it,s the Egyptian Armyheeding to the voice of their people who have been suffering under an oppressive regime that has trampled the idea of democracy

OmarKamel
OmarKamel

Hi. Sorry, you seem to have dropped this paragraph: 

Morsi failed, and betrayed his people. The list of disasters include his violation of the constitution, his anti-constitutional 'declarations' of Nov 2012, the murder of at least 100 new martyrs by his regime, his failure to fulfill ANY of the promises he made to the people, and his absolute failure to even fulfill the bare essentials of his 100-Day program, his backing of a widely disputed constitution from which all but the Islamists pulled out, and finally - and most importantly, the TWENTY TWO MILLION people who signed a petition to remove him (he only got 5.5 million votes in the 1st round of elections) and the protests by (depending on which estimates you believe) anywhere between 15-30 MILLION Egyptians since even before June 30th, but building to that, that were insisting on removing him.

Something similar occurred in your other article. Please debug whatever word processor you use.

But otherwise, hey - great stuff. Keep it up. One day you might even grow up to be a journalist.

Mariam El Prince
Mariam El Prince

no muslim brother hood forged Elections by giving poor people money and other ways ,,, believe me we know brother hood more than anybody else in this world ,,, they are the worse people ever !

Amr Kamal
Amr Kamal

The people of America, our fellow human beings we are all sons of Adam, that Obama is making terrorism and deal with it and Nmah in Egypt to destroy those great civilization timeless speedy and treasured by all the world and tearing Egypt and manufactured hatred between us and your money is spent on the funding of terrorism and support the killing of Egyptians my children were killed and kill the hands of the hands of Obama and your wealth The people of Egypt

Samehyounan
Samehyounan

what happened in EGYPT is NOT a coup but a REVOLUTION of the Egyptians vs a tyrant  and an agent !!! 

Mohamed Mahmoud
Mohamed Mahmoud

To all my non-Egyptian friends, if you hear or watch any news saying this is a military coup, take it from an Egyptian, it is NOT! Up to 33 million free Egyptians have been demonstrating peacefully to oust the tyrant Morsi and the fascist regime of the Muslim Brotherhood. No external force or influence drove this but the free will of true Egyptian youth, who again have rewritten history. I have never been more proud. The army had to support and protect our revolution

Joseph Talaat
Joseph Talaat

Message From Egyptian people To American people When terrorists kill you or your beloved ones, don't get angry with them. But rather, Be angry with your government which supports them.

Mohamed Mosleh
Mohamed Mosleh

we toppled down Morsi by peaceful rallies through 33 million people in the streets because he supports terrorism islamists and jihadis supporters of MOrsi supported by Obama and Anen Baterson are making egypt in living hell and real terrorism to become a hive for terrorism enough supporting terrorism american adminstration our army is not facing innocent protesters, they are armed militias like Hamas and Al-Qaeda , it's not a coup , it's war against real terrorism

محمد فاروق
محمد فاروق

To Tim newspaper States respected media owner Almsedkih We are the great people of Egypt let you all the great appreciation we hope you to see the great revolution against injustice on .30.6 June, and we ask you to stand beside us against the dominance of the U.S. system in a personal representative of President Barack Obama for his support system of the Muslim Brotherhoodagainst the will of the Egyptian people finder freedom like the people esteemed American defender of rights, freedom and democracy Nrjok with all our hearts that stand beside us we are the Egyptian people component of the army and the police, media and Egyptian political parties and Azhar Al-Sharif faction of moderate Islamic and Egyptian Coptic Church temperate and all shades of the people against the regime of fascist systemThe Muslim Brotherhood Fargo you to see our glorious to Chahdo the revolution for yourself and judge Truly a great Fethiye you and all the American people, the great (... if the days people wanted life, liberty must answer him much of an Egyptian citizen is free

Rasha Sabri
Rasha Sabri

A COUP or NOT A COUP that is the Question? To all my friends who are confused about what is happening in Egypt! FIRST Morsi was NOT a democratically elected president: there was massive rigging. Many poor’s votes were purchased with little money or in-kind trivialities. Extreme mosque leaders poisoned many people's decisions by convincing them that whoever wouldn't vote for Morsi will end up in hell! Now how democratic is this, taking advantage of people's poverty and ignorance?? If you still think this is democracy then on the same line Mubarak was a fairly elected president and what happened 2 years ago was NOT revolution but a COUP that was welcomed internationally. SECOND, Asking Morsi to resign is not against democratic procedures. None of the revolution's demands were met, Morsi and the (Muslim Brotherhood) took the country in another direction that mainly reflected their desire to dominate the state, and did not build a democracy (freedom), or managed to improve the living standards of Egyptians and provide their basic needs. Even the people who voted for him ONLY to prevent the other candidate of the old regimen from winning (because of the fear of resurrecting Mobarak regimen) regretted it. So there has been a popular demand to go into early elections but he didn't listen to the people. THIRD, he abolished the word "Democracy" last November when he awarded himself sweeping presidential powers that were not initially outlined in the constitution. They were approved by the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated constitutional assembly. FOURTH, Almost 25 million people signed a petition asking for early elections and change of a corrupt government but he didn't care. 3 MONTHS AGO, he was told that if no action is taken, we will protest! He cared less. LASTLY, what happened in Egypt earlier is by no means a military coup as you call it. The military's intervention was very welcome and CAME ONLY as a response of what the masses desired (POPULAR DEMAND that out numbered pro morsi's at least 10X = DEMOCRACY). THE PEOPLE of Egypt called them in because they have had enough and they were willing to shed blood in order to FREE the country from him. They called them NOT to govern but to prevent more bloodshed, to maintain security in the country while a transition government is being formed. That's why it is a REVOLUTION NOT A COUP! ALL MY RESPECT to the 33 Million in Egypt who freed my country. CHAPEAU

AF Hesham
AF Hesham

رساله الى داعم الارهاب فى مصر Dear Mr. Obama, For the past 15 years your CIA brains have been planning to change Egypt into another Iraq. Well, NICE TRY. You have FAILED. You don't understand a lot about Egypt, sir. Maybe you should ask your Kenyan Muslim relatives about the status of our country in the Holy Qur'an, or how Prophet Mohamed ,peace be upon him, described our army. Egypt has been mentioned in our Holy Book five times, and is described as a secure country where people live in peace and harmony. Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) has described our soldiers as the best on the planet, stating clearly that our army and the Egyptian people remain united till the end of time. In the Bible, the Egyptian people are described as the blessed nation of Jesus Christ. So Mr. Obama, you can kindly oblige us by calling in your lady of doom Mrs. Anne Patterson back home to the USA, as she is no longer welcomed in Egypt. We hope you have learnt that not all countries yield to manipulation and that you should not attempt to spend the money of American tax payers creating dictatorships in countries of independence and sovereignty. To American People, We call upon all Americans whom we know as a peace loving people to seriously investigate their government's sincere endeavors to aid terrorists imposing a fascist regime, is this what they pay taxes to achieve? Are these the human values upon which you have been elected?? Respectfully, "No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve." —President Obama, http://wh.gov/lcFMr Photo: President Obama and his national security team discuss the situation in Egypt, July 3, 2013.

Aya S. Mohammed
Aya S. Mohammed

I'm an Egyptian student, just graduated from high school.. I'd like to STRONGLY clarify that what's happening in Egypt is not a military coup, the military is just complying to the nation's requests. Dr. muhammed morsi couldn't be our president, he put Egypt through the wrong path that would've destroyed our nation and our future as the next generation. and SOON with the help of the temporary president "adly mansour", Egypt is gonna have a civilian government, not a religious one.

esondotaruge
esondotaruge

@secwatchigss Morsi: Moslem Brotherhood President did not live upto Tahirir Square "Cry for the Beloved Country!"

Kemuel Chavez
Kemuel Chavez

It won't be long before they over throw another leader

Noran Hu
Noran Hu

NOT A MILITARY COUP . what happened in Egypt earlier is by no means a military coup as you call it. The military's intervention was VERY WELCOMED and came only as a response of what the masses desired. And Morsi was NOT a democratically elected president BY THE MAJORITY AS OU MENTIONED : there was massive rigging... many poors' votes were purchased with little money or in-kind trivialities... and mosque leaders poisoned many people's decisions by convincing them that whoever wouldn't vote for Morsi will end up in hell! Now how democratic is this, taking advantage of people's poverty and ignorance??? The overwhelming majority of Egyptians today are in a state of euphoria because a dictator was ousted: a dictator who in one year has (along with his gang) caused the country indelible damage and has been trying systematically to destroy its economy, chase away tourists, assign former terrorists to leadership positions, discriminate against women and minorities, arrest journalists, justify harassment against us women, undermine the country's culture and art (e.g. attempting to ban ballet for being a "nude art"), instill sectarian sedition between its people, cause a massive brain-drain... an exodus of skills out of the country, deprive Egyptians of the bare essentials of a decent live, including water, electricity and fuel, etc. etc. How about taking a peek at social media to see how delighted everyone is and how people are congratulating each other for the end of a dark era?

Moataz Alramady
Moataz Alramady

Important message from the Egyptian people to the whole world 33 million citizens described by the BBC as the biggest protest in the history of mankind, WONDERFUL YOUTH GROUPS WHO ARE THE ACTUAL OWNERS OF THE JANUARY'S REVOLUTION... IT'S DEMANDS. They toke revolutionary measures to correct its path, fall of a DICTATOR TERRORIST and his regime, on 30 of June 2013. You can see that clearly in the attached video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ1tNopb97k And our decisions formulated by the respectable minister of defense What is happening in Egypt now is not a military coup, the Egyptian people use the Armed Forces owned by the people in order to implement what they want, and power now is not the hands of military and will not be, it is in the hands of an interim civilian until elections are held fast within 6 months, where the Egyptian people choose in a fair elections away from deceiving people on the basis of religious or ethnic or any way discriminate against any human being. Please support our rights. Thanks

Mohammad Shafiq Khan
Mohammad Shafiq Khan

Sooner or later every democracy has to fail everywhere as there is just one & only one Political System under which peace & justice can prevail and that is Islamic Political System of Khilafah. Khilafah has been conceived for the first time in Islamic history on the basis of logic, past human history & Quran in the book 'Natural World Order & The Islamic Thought' available free on www.islamic-thought.com. Let every educated Muslim of Egypt read the book to decide for themselves. Muslim Brotherhood was wrong to accept democracy as the system of governance as it is just an atheistic political system whereas Al-Baradi is the American agent.

Milad Alexander
Milad Alexander

I'am Egyptian too.American people,it's not a military coup.We as Egyptians didn't have democracy for choosing Morsi from the beginning.The brotherhood group made forgery in the elections& there r cases against Morsi for elections' forgery.They bought votting by oil bottles& sugar bags for poor people,whom are a lot,They also manipulated religion in a fake way not real to convince people that they r Muslims who will achieve Sharia.This not true, they didn't achieve one thing of their promises.Morsi said in his election program"we have 200 million pouds for projects.He said"in 100 days,I'll achieve safety,organize traffic&we'll present for Egyptians El Nahda Islamic project" which they themselves do not know what it is ,till now.They r terrorists came by the will of Mr. Obama.Obama spent over them 1.5 billion dollars just for the sake of protecting Israel from terrorism.But we not going to be the goat of this transaction.Besides,Morsi ran awy from jail in 28 January 2011& became a president.It'a a black comedy isn't it?!!!!.Morsi made a dictator conistitutional declaration giving him allllllllllll rights without sergeant from anyyyyy one.What political stupidity!!!!!we r the Egyptians who went out 33 millions to ask our great army to ousted Morsi, thank our army for their respond of our demand to ousted the facist dictator terrorist Morsi

Essam Salem
Essam Salem

July 03, 2013 is a shameful chapter in the history of Egypt, when the country's first and only democratically elected president was overthrown by the military in the name of protecting the revolution. Shameful it was because those who were crying for democracy, used this military coup to kill democracy itself. Shameful it was because no matter how inept the Morsi government was, he didn't deserve to go through a coup. It was eminent whosoever was going to be in power during this transition phase, had to walk along the knife-edge. Things were not supposed to improve overnight, yet it seems that the so called 'revolutionaries' were expecting this period to be a piece of cake. Shameful it was because those who were protesting against the military atrocities last year, were the ones cheering and welcoming them this time. Shameful it was because the same Mubarak era policies were used by the Military this time to round off country's largest political party members and leaders. Shameful it was because the revolution so dear to all of us was countered by our own treason and hatred.

Mahmoud Eid
Mahmoud Eid

president OBAMA and his ambassador are supporting a terrorist in my country EGYPT To the U.S. administration We will not speak to you but to the the American people who believe in freedom. Your president and his ambassador are supporting a terrorist group rejected by the Egyptian people. Your administration puts pressure on the Egyptian army to stand with terror group. - The friendly American people need to stand against the backing of terrorism and scattered money of your taxes to support the group killed your children and our children let us to make our democrats

Heba El Soussy
Heba El Soussy

This is the will of the Egyptian people...what coup involves 33 million people taking to the streets?? Lets put matters in the right perspective :::::::::::::: This is a posting for all those who think that Egypt should have maintained some skewed version of 'democracy' rather than stop the Muslim Brotherhood murdering people, destroying the economy, assaulting people, intimidating people on the streets, allowing jihadists to train in Sinai, allowing kidnappings and rape to become acceptable...if that is democracy, then it needs tearing down. Egypt had a popular revolution, not a coup. The ballot box is not the only manifestation of democracy. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been ousted by the people. I say the people, because I am so tired of reading from everyone who lives outside of Egypt calling it a Military Coup. This was an uprising of the people, which resulted in the military taking the side of the people. Let’s not forget that the head of the army El Sissi was appointed by Morsi. I am also so tired hearing people say, this is against democracy. Yes, Morsi was voted in as President but without a mandate. However, within two months he had given himself more powers than Mubarak had before. Powers that made it impossible to remove him from office without a civil uprising. These powers put him above the law, and above any court in the land including the Supreme Court..He illegally pushed through a Muslim Brotherhood backed constitution and made sure he could not be impeached or held accountable for his actions. During the last 12 months the country through bad decisions by Morsi has collapsed. There is no tourism which is the key for driving Egypt’s economy, there are constant power cuts, fuel shortages, mountains of rubbish in the streets, roads unrepaired; in fact, a total infrastructure break-down. Yet, for the sake of “democracy” those outside of Egypt say the Egyptians should tolerate this and not stand up against him. I say him, because that was what Egyptians thought the Presidential election was about, voting in a “him”. But no, after winning the election we suddenly hear about a “morshid”, the spiritual leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Party who makes all the decisions for the movement and its people. Now we find that Morsi would be answerable to the morshid. The people of the country asked Morsi to distance himself from the morshid and the Brotherhood. But no, instead he brought them into the fold, giving them all top positions. The country had voted for Morsi, not for the morshid and the Muslim Brotherhood. So whilst the country was collapsing and businesses were closing down, the Muslim Brotherhood had its own agenda - with Morsi as its puppet – to enforce their version of sharia law in the country at whatever cost to the people. At the simplest level, the Ministry Of Education was about to ban music, singing and dancing in schools, as the Brotherhood see them tools of the devil. There will be democracy in Egypt, but it needs to be a fair and not rushed through democracy that works for the people, rather than for those in public office in the West looking for a quick win to justify their positions. Egypt has great people who can take this country forward not backwards which is what the morshid and his party wanted.

MusogaK
MusogaK

@TIME @TIMEWorld Morsi did not get a bonafide majority he only got the majority of those who voted; how about those who actively boycotted?

tatos1972
tatos1972

@TIME @TIMEWorld Thanks egyptian police for protecting egyptians from terrorism of Brotherhood against Egyptians