Who Rules Egypt? Is Mursi Truly In Charge In Post-revolutionary Egypt?
By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
Who Rules Egypt? Is Mursi Truly In Charge In
Neither imams nor members of
the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movements will be able to protect the
Egyptian presidency from the anger of the people when the banks decrease
Egypt’s currency exchange rate compared to the dollar. Every single citizen
will pay a dear price for this, not just the protesters in Tahrir Square, the
Nasserites or the Copts. At this point, neither the International Monetary
Fund [IMF] loan nor aid from Saudi Arabia and Qatar would be of any use. The
only solution is for the regime to restore relations with its opposition and
try to reach a broad-ranging reconciliation that includes all factions.
Following this, they will be able to confront future crises together.
However before this can be achieved we must recognize that the Egyptian
political scene has become extremely puzzling. President Mursi slams the
opposition in every possible manner then appears on CNN to say that he
believes in democracy. Following this, Egyptian Defense Minister, General
Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, headed to Sinai to meet with the Bedouins there
wearing a traditional cloak over his khaki uniform.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil received an IMF official, attempting to talk him
into approving a five-billion-dollar loan to Egypt after imposing a set of
socialist laws that ban Egyptians from travelling abroad with more than $10,000
and tourists from entering the country with the same amount.
Egyptian intelligence chief visited the UAE in an attempt to resolve the
problems that have arisen following the arrest of an “Egyptian Muslim
Brotherhood cell”, with fears growing that the Brotherhood want to export its
movement into the Gulf region in precisely the same manner that Iran sought
to export its Islamic revolution.
As for Essam el-Erian, the Muslim
Brotherhood’s most famous media figure, he dropped a bomb that distracted the
people from both the constitution and the referendum, calling for the return
of Egypt’s Jewish community “who were unjustly expelled by late President
Gamal Abdel Nasser.” Whilst at the same time that he is calling for the
return of 250,000 Jews to Egypt, the Egyptian armed forces arrested a single
Israeli who had sneaked across the border!
Who is ruling Egypt? In
the past, they said that Mubarak’s wife and son were interfering in the
presidency’s decisions. Now, they are saying that the Muslim Brotherhood’s
Supreme Guide and his deputy decide what happens and even have the power to
cancel the president’s decrees. This was reportedly demonstrated when Mursi’s
statement greeting Egypt’s Coptic community was withdrawn from the official
news agency just one hour following its publication.
that Egypt is ruled by a triumvirate, namely the President, the Muslim
Brotherhood Supreme Guide and “the investor”. The Muslim Brotherhood’s
Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, is similar to his Iranian counterpart in the
sense that he has the final say and issues weekly statements that are no
different than those issued in Tehran, namely putting forward his view and
attacking those who oppose the government. As for the second member of this
partnership, it is claimed that this is none other than well-known Egyptian
businessman and deputy Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Khairat el-Shater.
Many people believe that el-Shater is the real ruler, and that he was
responsible for selecting both Egypt’s cabinets. Whilst we all know that he
was the Muslim Brotherhood’s original presidential candidate but the courts
banned him from taking part in the elections due to his criminal record.
Some have even accused him of running the Brotherhood’s cells abroad
including those in the Gulf. Since the Brotherhood, the ruling party and
indeed the presidency are working in secret it is difficult to tell truth
The long silence of the Egyptian Armed Forces have
given the impression that they have either been hibernating or been
hampered by the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the recent public dispute
that took place between the military and the Supreme Guide a few weeks ago,
not to mention the Defense Minister’s visit to the Sinai Peninsula, have
given the impression that the army is like a tiger that sleeps with one eye
It is clear that Egypt is now witnessing a fierce battle
between different powers, both within and outside of government. This is what
happened after the 1952 revolution in addition to when Sadat came to power
following Nasser’s death. However the situation is very different now
because this power struggle is no longer confined to the presidential palace.
Some argue that diversity in the country’s centers of power represents one
of the key features of democracy. This is true, however the problem is that
many of these struggles are now taking place outside a democratic
framework, whether we are talking about the presidency, the legislature,
the judiciary or even the media.
Members of the elite are not the
only ones who are worried, and this anxiety has extended to average
Egyptians who can see the impact of a weakening currency and a crippled
economy on their daily lives. The average citizen is an influential power in
Egypt, whilst money sent back to the country by Egyptians abroad constitutes
one third of the country’s revenue, exceeding the revenues generated by
industry, agriculture, and the Suez Canal. When these Egyptians who left
their families to work day and night in foreign countries see their
earnings losing value, they will either stop transferring money back to
Egypt or stop dealing in the Egyptian pound. At this point, attempts by the
Muslim Brotherhood to reassure the people would be completely futile, as
would their attempts at following the Iranian example and excluding their
opponents. There may come a difficult time when the Brotherhood find
themselves being pursued by the Egyptian general public.
Al Rashed is the general
manager of Al -Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of
Asharq Al- Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is
also a senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He
is a US post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on
many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in