July 4, 2013 – A day after coup, Egyptians awake to uncertainty: Egyptians awoke to an uncertain new political order on Thursday, a day after the military deposed and reportedly detained the country’s first democratically elected president, put a top judge in his place and suspended the constitution.
The coup that toppled Mohamed Morsy as president on Wednesday brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets across Egypt to both applaud and assail the generals’ decision to take control of the country’s politics for the second time in a little over two years.
It also left a series of significant questions unanswered. What will happen to Morsy, who insists he remains the country’s legitimate leader, and his key supporters? Will the sporadic outbreaks of violence that killed at least eight people on Wednesday spread into wider unrest? And what hopes remain for Egypt’s messy attempts to build a multiparty democracy?
Morsy, a Western-educated Islamist elected a year ago, “did not achieve the goals of the people” and failed to meet the generals’ demands that he share power with his opposition, Egypt’s top military officer, Gen. Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, said in a televised speech to the nation Wednesday.
Some observers warned of the risk of an extremist backlash.
“The major lesson that Islamists in the Middle East are likely to learn from this episode is that they will not be allowed to exercise power no matter how many compromises they make in both the domestic and foreign policy arenas,” Mohammed Ayoob, Michigan State University professor emeritus of international relations.
“This is likely to push a substantial portion of mainstream Islamists into the arms of the extremists who reject democracy and ideological compromise,” Ayoob wrote for a CNN.com opinion piece.
The U.S. government, meanwhile, took a cautious stance on the upheaval.
Washington has supplied Egypt’s military with tens of billions in support and equipment over more than 30 years, and under U.S. law, that support could be cut off after a coup — a term his White House statement avoided.
“The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law,” Obama said.
He said he had ordered “the relevant departments and agencies” to study what American law would mean for U.S. aid and urged the generals to hand power back to an elected government “as soon as possible.” (Credits – CNN).
The Master of Disaster