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Monday, July 1, 2013

48 Hours: An Egyptian Crisis

On the first anniversary of President Mursi's inauguration, protesters take to the streets demanding his resignation. The Egyptian army has given the government 48 hours to respond to the people.

A protester waves a national flag as Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on June 30, 2013. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Supporters of the Tamarod ("rebel") movement are taking to streets on June 30th in what is likely to be a massive show of force. Their goals are deceptively simple -- pushing President Mohamed Morsi out of power and holding early presidential elections. When asked, however, how they plan to do this, the answers acquire a certain vagueness. Egyptians have every right to call for Morsi to resign -- and that right must be protected -- but he is obviously under no obligation to heed their calls. So, then what? - The Atlantic

Protesters gather during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 30, 2013. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters
The Tamarod movement is an extension of this civic disengagement. The group has no visible leaders, no political program, and no plans to turn its support into electoral victories. Its founders don’t plan to enter organized politics. “Tamarod is just a popular movement,” Adel told me. When I asked how the group might translate its popularity into political action, he looked puzzled. “It’s the opposite of what you say,” he answered finally. “We are trying to turn political parties into expressions of the popular will.” The Egyptian constitution does not allow voters to recall a sitting President—the petition’s principal demand—but no one seems overly concerned about this. “The legal basis is the popular will,” Adel told me. - The New Yorker

An anti-Mursi protester chants slogans during a massive protest in Alexandria on June 30, 2013. (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)
Egypt needs the discipline as well as the technical support and advice that the IMF and the World Bank can provide but that the Gulf countries cannot. Egypt also needs more aid than the international financial institutions and the traditional bilateral donors can generate. The challenge ahead is thus to ensure that, at the very least, the different donors do not undermine one another and that the Western donors do not pull out, thinking that Egypt’s needs have been met. - Foreign Affairs

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