Egypt Dissolves Its Cabinet, Clearing Path for al-Sisi Presidency

Once he is no longer Defense Minister, Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi can announce his run for office

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Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

Demonstrators hold up posters of Egypt's army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in front of the state-television building in Cairo on Feb. 7, 2014

In an unanticipated statement read on live TV, Egypt’s interim Prime Minister declared the resignation of his Cabinet on Monday, a move likely to open the way for the country’s popular Defense Minister to run for the presidency in upcoming elections.

For many Egyptians, that will be the announcement that can’t come fast enough. Already the streets of Cairo are draped in banners celebrating Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. His face adorns nightgowns and teapots in local shop windows, and one popular poster depicts him last in a series of great Egyptian leaders, starting with a picture of a pharaoh followed by portraits of King Fuad, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat (the poster appears to elide over the more recent unpleasantness of former Presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi). In Egypt, it’s not a question of if al-Sisi will declare his intention to run, but when. Already the country’s best-known business tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, has endorsed al-Sisi’s presidency in an interview with the prominent Al-Ahram newspaper.

Though interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi did not give a clear reason for the Cabinet’s resignation, it is largely seen as the first step toward al-Sisi’s declaration of his candidacy. Cabinet members are not permitted to run for office according to Egyptian law. While al-Sisi could have simply resigned himself, the Cabinet’s mass resignation would be an indication of support, one that is echoed across the nation.

Al-Sisi has been hailed as a hero among a large swath of the Egyptian population ever since he ousted the deeply unpopular Morsi in a coup d’état in July last year. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected President, came to power in the wake of a largely peaceful revolution that saw the overthrow of Mubarak, a strongman who had been in power for 30 years. But Morsi’s tenure was plagued by mismanagement, incompetence and fears that his Islamist leanings would forever alter the fabric of Egypt’s pluralistic society.

When Egyptians protested in mass against Morsi’s reign last summer, al-Sisi — Morsi’s Defense Minister — stepped in and took over. There are sure to be other candidates for the presidency when elections are announced some time later this year, but it is widely accepted that al-Sisi will win handily. And that, says Sawiris, is part of the appeal. “When 30 million went to the streets, Sisi took the dangerous and brave decision to support the people,” he says. “That shows leadership skills that Egypt desperately needs.” The country, Sawiris tells TIME, needs a leader that the entire nation can rally around, particularly as it enters a phase of economic hardship brought on by necessary economic reforms. “Only Sisi can align the population behind him to move the country in the right direction,” Sawiris says.

Still, the blind hero worship strikes some as dangerous, particularly as the interim government that backs Sisi embarks on a vicious campaign of intimidation and discrimination against Morsi’s supporters. “I have no problem if people like him because he has a strong presidential platform,” says 25-year-old stockbroker Remon Amin. “However, there is a problem if they elect him because they think he is a savior god. A man doesn’t thank his wife every morning for not cheating on him, and we shouldn’t celebrate Sisi for doing what he was supposed to do as a servant of the people.” Amin says he probably won’t vote when elections take place, since it’s already clear who will win. “Why do we Egyptians insist on making a pharaoh and then worshipping him?” he asks with a sigh. “It doesn’t make sense to get rid of a Mubarak only to get a Sisi.”

4 comments
يحييمحمد
يحييمحمد

Dear all,


I think there are many fallacies here. Firstly , what do you mean exactly by the term :coup"? and why do you insist upon defining it as a "coup" instead of searching, studying, and delving into the situation in Egypt and have a panoramic overview.


1- A coup: is a hidden act/plot  that a person or a group of people do to unlawfully seize power which did not happen in the case of Egypt as all the world has witnessed the "exclusionism" policy that the Muslim Brotherhood adopted and all parties have invited Dr. Morsi to be a president for all the Egyptians not only for a certain group/faction. Dr. Morsi have had a wrong understanding of the process of "change" which is a very complex process and did not estimate the resistance to change well. in addition, he did not have a clear strategic plan to eradicate corruption which is one of the main causes of 25th January revolution that led to the ouster of Mubarak's regime. instead he was involved in hiring people from his own faction in different positions allover the country regardless of looking at high caliber and professional candidates to help him execute his elections program "Alnahda" in which he deceived all the Egyptians>  Moreover, he issued a presidential declaration that grants him too much powers such as : legislation, The supreme commander of the armed forces,......etc. and freed the killers of president Sadat without referring to the judicial power which he took oath that he will respect and will boost it's ability to make summery judgments. In addition, he invited the assassins of Sadat in Cairo stadium and left the roam for all of them to insult, curse , and threaten the people though they are themselves are fanatic and killers. All Egyptians have witnessed and rallied into the streets in a massive and peaceful marches. What if the Ministry of Interior and the army left all those people : estimated 30 million fight with the supporters of Morsi: the result will be a civil war ! why ? because Mr. Morsi did not respect his oath and work for the sake of the miserable Egypt not only for his Militia group. 

2- Who is the current president of Egypt ? is he the one who led the coup ? or an honorable man "the head of the supreme constitutional court of Egypt"?

3- All political parties "secular and non secular ones" have gathered several time with Dr. Morsi and he did not listen to their recommendations for the status quo. only was listening and taking instructions from the Muslim Brotherhood office "Maktabul Ershad" Morsi has no vision to run a strategic and big country like Egypt. He closed several TV channels such as Dream 1 and dream 2 because they show to the common people the facts of what is going on and criticism the fatal mistakes of the ruling party instead of enhancing freedom of speech.

4- there are many incidents and evidences that made the Egyptians doubt the suspicious relationship between Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Iran, Turkey, Hizbu Allah in Lebanon especially after the gas line in the peninsula of Sinai exploded several times after the 3 of July revolution which did not happen one time during his rule!!!! 

5- a question for you: How do you see the situation and what is happening in Ukraine comparing to what has happened in Egypt? why does USA support the ouster of the current president of Ukraine and depicts what is happening in Egypt as a coup?


appreciate your valuable comments.



Thanks,


Yahia Marey


yahia_marey@hotmail.com 

islamzezo4
islamzezo4

not know the collective Brotherhood and terrorist deeds to their advantage not to the benefit of the people aspiring to democracy and a decent life and development such as the rest of the world since the overthrow of Mubarak

Dear Karl Egypt is not one belonging to either the Gulf or the United States we have a sovereign state , and I invite you to read the history of Egypt through the ages to know who the Egyptians

The most important point that the Egyptian army national army does not kill one but there are some media depicts people carrying arms in the face of the citizens that they are citizens of the Egyptian army in the fact that it is fighting terrorism alone without the help of one and without waiting for a command or loyalty from one

The world must choose Ihtr the Egyptian people that came sissy or any other candidate Is not this democracy

Thank you .......

Karl
Karl

I think the USA made a mistake, ethically, and politically when we stayed silent during the Egyptian coup. It wont serve our interests in the long term. We had influence with the elected government because we were the only people other than Turkey willing to write any checks. The Saudis have replaced us in Cairo. That's fine, they are not our enemies but we risk seeing a destabilized Egypt dragging the conservative gulf monarchies down with it when and if the lid blows. No one can afford to support 80 million Egyptians in lieu of the power of tourist dollars and with tourists being bombed in their air conditioned buses in the Sinai and no end of that in sight, Sisi in a very few years will lose his appeal to the hungry and hopeful masses who currently side with the coup. When the pot remains empty too many meals then Egypt will look for a different answer and the only one out there is the banned Brotherhood. Then those martyred by the army will become heroes and we will not be looked on as the best company to keep, any more than we are by Sisi who saw how we dumped the previous dictator Mubarak to please the masses. We are too  fickle and too willing to blow with the wind in the turbulent Near East. Once we dumped Mubarak we should have made the choice to stand by the elected government in Cairo. Now no one can trust Washington's loyalty and there goes our real influence. 

AhmedElkhamesy
AhmedElkhamesy

@KarlDear : United States supported the already banned Muslim Brotherhood . Stood against the 30 million Egyptian landed into the street in 30/6 . I would love to make you know the Egyptian army met with the political forces in Egypt . And that the Egyptian army said these forces are doing a referendum on the survival of isolated Mohamed Morsy or not. But these forces are rejected , including Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and the youth of the revolution . Concerned with what is happening in Egypt is the will of the Egyptian popular . Army now deal with Russia in agreement weapon of the strongest weapons and this has the latest glitch in the White House and Israel, too . There is no longer dependent on one was canceled since dropping consecutive berth and the banned group