November 25, 2012
ONCE YOU COMPROMISE...:
Pressure Grows on Egyptian Leader After Judicial Decree (DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, November 25, 2012, NY Times)
...everyone else is obligated.[T]he justice minister, Ahmed Mekki, the influential leader of a judicial independent movement under Mr. Mubarak and one of Mr. Morsi's closest aides, was actively trying to broker a deal with top jurists to resolve the crisis.The situation is the most acute test to date of the ability and willingness of Mr. Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president and a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, to engage in the kind of give and take that democratic government requires. But he also must contend with real doubts about the willingness of his anti-Islamist opponents to join him in compromise. Each side is mired in deep suspicion of the other, a legacy of the decades when the Brotherhood survived here only as an insular secret society, demonized as dangerous radicals by most of the Egyptian elite."There is a deep mistrust," said Emad Shahin, a political scientist at the American University in Cairo who studies the Brotherhood. "It is an ugly round of partisan politics," he said, "a bone-crushing phase."The scale of the backlash against the decree appeared to catch Mr. Morsi's government by surprise. "In his head, the president thought that this would push us forward, but then it was met with all this inflammation," Mr. Mekki said. He faulted the president for failing to consult with his opponents before issuing it, but he also faulted the opponents for their own unwillingness to come to the table: "I blame all of Egypt, because they do not know how to talk to each other."Government and party officials maintained that Mr. Morsi was forced to claim the expansive new powers in order to protect the process of writing the country's new constitution, and that the decree would be in effect only until the charter was in place. A court of judges appointed under the Mubarak government was widely rumored to be about to dissolve the elected constitutional assembly, which is dominated by Mr. Morsi's Islamist allies -- just as the same court had previously cast out the newly elected Islamist-led Parliament -- and the decree issued by Mr. Morsi on Thursday gave him the power to stop it.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2012 9:50 PM