Roadmaps & Zig-zag Roads: How do you “Historicize” a Revolution’s Democratic Process?

Legitimate grievances clash with legitimate electoral process: Movement in Symbolizes Split Response:

Prior to June 30th, the Tamarod movement obtained 22 million signatures to represent disapproval of former President Morsi. Tamarod organized a variety of people to remove an elected leader by pressuring Cabinet Ministers to resign if Morsi did not include other parties and voices.  In a barebones way: essentially Tamarod, removed an elected official in lieu of a legal process. The paradox emerges:how do citizens democratically remove an elected leader, who can claim legitimacy through the ballot box, before the next cycle of election.  Or as constitutionalists will argue: removing even a non-democratic person who has won the majority vote without some legal or legislative process. As Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera Political Analyst characterized: “a good-looking coup”.  On the other hand, the Tamarod movement listed a series of legitimate grievances: 1) abuse of executive power by changing the Constitution, 2) excluding other political voices (youth and women), and 3) failing to address economic upheavel (eg. increasing power outages, rising prices, dwindling foreign reserves). The Rebel Economy blog cites a great analysis of Morsi’s missteps in addressing Egypt’s economy. Simply stated: Morsi executed leadership in an undemocratic way.

How do you historicize a revolution’s reaction to a an election result, which follows a revolution?  Egypt’s June 30th Movement is a case in point.  Media and Egypt analysts continuously compare Egypt with Algeria’s 1992 military overthrow of the popularly supported Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), a political party voicing an Islamic platform. The Algerian military’s decision to cancel elections in the face of the Algerian FIS win, triggered Algeria’s civil war. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood, experienced more popularity–almost like Algeria’s FIS– and led to establishing he Freedom & Justice Party shortly after Egypt’s 2011 revolution resulting in Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow.

In 1928, Shaykh Hassan al Banna  founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but has followers in many Arab countries. In 1964, MB took a serious stance of armed resistance predicated on Sayyid Qutb’s writings “Milestones”, which has often place the MB on shaky ground due to its call for arms, and inciting violence.  The Muslim Brotherhood has been targeted by many authoritarian governments and monarchies. Specifically in Egypt, MB was sidelined from organizing in the formal political process for about 80 years. During Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule, many within the Muslim Brotherhood faced political imprisonment after initially supporting Nasser.

Background since Hosni Mubarak’s Overthrow: In 2012, President Morsi won Egypt’s electoral vote of 51.7 percent shortly after Egypt’s ouster of Hosni Mubarak–who held power as an authoritarian leader for 30 years.  Morsi comes from the Freedom & Justice Party, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Since his election, Morsi has increased his powers through the Constitution, a controversial move that fueled the fire for the Tamarod Campaign. The Tamarod campaign rallied over 20 million signatures disapproving of Morsi and Tamarod called upon Morsi to hold new elections and organized its protest for June 30th, Sunday.  In response, pro-Morsi, or pro government supporters, as well as Muslim Brotherhood supporters, convened its own rally to be held at the same time of the Tamarod Movement’s organized protest, which includes a range of anti-Morsi supporters–secularists, “secularists”, and even those that did initially vote for Morsi, but feel alienated.


  1. Does legitimacy mean more than just a ballot box result? Does the “Street” with its millions protesting play a significant role in determining legitimacy?
  2. If a movement & FJP r strong, can’t they survive independent of ? [AlAnani : Survival of Morsi is survival of ]


  1. What does Morsi propose specifically to carry out a National Dialogue?
  2. Without consensus on the result, the act of forcing Morsi out is interpreted as a “setback to the democratic process” according to Al Jazeera English, Senior Political Analyst, Marwan Bishara.  Note: Bishara authored “Invisible Arab”, which traces the Arab revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and others to the Palestinian movement: Intifada.
  3. Will the Muslim Brotherhood interpret Morsi’s removal as a blow to any future political involvement? Will the younger wave within the Muslim Brotherhood take up arms in the same vein that the movement’s earliest version had believed. MB renounced violence in


  1. Twitter debates: Is this a military coup or a second revolution? Or is this a step towards unraveling a democratic step of process?
  2. Note Journalist’s Astute point:

    “It’s 2013. military issues ultimatum via Facebook. President answers with a tweet. Wut’s next? Army blocks President on twitter.”


  1. Anti-Morsi protestors argue that if removing an elected, civilian leader is a step backwards, then Morsi set the precedent for going backwards in the democratic process by challenging the democratic process when he changed Egypt’s Constitution to increase his Executive powers.  
  2. PIDE (Policy,Investment, Development, Economics):


July 3:

  • @Elbaradei:  “It is fresh start for #Egypt”. Will he run in early election if he has #youth support? Unsure why he didn’t run before.

    • Tamarod Movement Youth representative speaks right before Al Nour Party Spokesperson, major “Islamist” party (More conservative than Morsi’s party) stood w/#Baradei and religious figures to “close the circle” around Muslm Brotherhood.
    • Ahmed El Tayeb, head of Al Azhar mosque: Approves of & suspending constitution as fireworks celebrate. MT
    • 1m
    • Morsi delivering a recorded speech to MB sit-in. Claims he’s still president, orders army & military to protect the people and legitimacy.E2-Sissi:Chief Justice of Court will declare early pres elections;Armed Forces “will stand up firmly in cooperation w/Interior Mnstry”
  • Chief Justice Adli Mansour will be the Interim President.

    3:11 PM EST: 1- Armed Forces Chief: Coherent society can be achieved: 1) Suspend constitutional provisionally.

  • Egypt Armed Forces Chief: We called for a national dialogue that was rejected.
  • sends Tweet saying don’t want military council or prime minister.
  • Yasser Haddara, Assistant to President Mohamed Morsi said: 
    “Morsy’s message to all Egyptians is to peacefully resist the military coup and not to use violence,” according to Reuters.
  • Sheikh of Al Azhar, Pope of Coptic Church, and Opposition Leader Mohammed El-Baradei @Elbaradei.  Meanwhile Egypt Independent reports: “Morsy in Republican Guards House, unclear if under house arrest” (@EgyIndependent)
  • 11:37 am EST (Past 4:30 pm Cairo time~ army’s ultimatium) on FacebookEssam El-Haddad issuing a very strong statement, calls all of this a military coup, very solemn. via @Bassem_Sabry
  • How will powersharing ensue if refuses army’s invitation to speak? Then isnt MB refusing to speak w/NSF too?
  • president spokesman says better for Morsi to die in defense of democracy than be blamed by history
  • Pro-Morsi supporters state that they believe that this is a military coup and are upset that those, “who did not even vote in elections,” have a assaulted the headquarters of our party and have invited the military to remove someone who has only worked for one year out of his 4 year term at “the infancy of democracy”.
  • Marwan Bishara notes three different explanations for army vehicles placed throughout Cairo areas with large crowds–in particular the Pro and Anti-Morsi gatherings in Tahrir Square and Cairo University: 1) psychological warfare to pressure Morsi supporters. 2) Security for competing protestors. 3) Coup?. Coup implies that the voices of  millions in Tahrir Square are negligible.
  • Morsi has not been seen since his midnight speech. Communication between Morsi and the army is cut. Deputy El Arian, head of Freedom & Justice Party, claims that he is “banned from leaving Egypt” and is ready to die.
  • Shortly before call to Sunset prayer, Army carrier vehicles shift to block certain roads “to protect protestors in each camp” split between Tahrir Square (Anti-Morsi) and Cairo University (Pro-Morsi).  Note: Pro-Morsi supporters may not necessarily be pro-Morsi, but feel that forcibly removing the first democratically elected citizen President is not part of the democratic process.
  • Before 4:30 pm Cairo time deadline: Morsi refuses Army Invitation to speak with different parties, including the opposition spokesman of Mohamed ElBaredie, youth leaders of Tamarod Movement, Pope of Coptic Church, and Clerical head of Azhar Mosque/University.
  • Tuesday night: After 18 killed in Pro- rally, Governor of Giza resigns. Army ultimatum to expire in 25 min at 4:30pm Cairo time, 10:30 ET.


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