A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Is Egypt Slipping Out of Morsi's Control?

I don't like sensational headlines unless they're justified, but Egypt seems to be increasingly out of control. After yesterday's court ruling, the Electoral Commission has canceled the April through June election dates,  There is talk the Supreme Constitutional Court could take 60 days to rule, but the Presidency's promised appeal could take even longer. Given the fact that Muslim Brotherhood candidates recently suffered a string of losses in university student elections (even  in strongholds like Asyut), early elections might no longer be a good thing for the MB, so ofall the challenges facing President Morsi, that may nlmost constitute the good news.

Port Said, Egypt's and the Suez Canal's front door to the world, has been in open rebellion since January, with several dead and thousands hospitalized. The Central Security Forces there appear to have clashed with the Army, and no one seems able to stop the violence.

What about the police? Today they launched a protest strike, demanding the ouster of the Interior, and shut down at least 30 police stations  in a country that has been under-policed since the revolution.

The industrial city of Mahalla in the Delta, always a hotbed, is up in arms again after the killing of an entire family,, allegedly by police.

Somebody tried to storm the Semiramis Hotel in Cairo again today, a few weeks after attackers tore up its lobby.

Oh, and don't forget the plague of locusts.

Egypt has been adrift and poorly led (if led at all) for months, but the smell of January 1952 is intensifying. I don't want to see an Army intervention, as some do, But the economy is in virtual free fall, tourism is dying (and even accidents like the Luxor balloon disaster are feeding the trend), and there seems to be no one at the wheel. Or several groups struggling to wrest the wheel from the others. And to make things worse, the problems seem to be cascading.

No comments: