By Haizam Amirah-Fernandez, Associate Professor at IE School of Arts & Humanities

Egypt has squandered its constitutional moment and the Muslim Brotherhood has been shown up as a group eager to accumulate power even at the risk of splitting the country down the middle. If a constitution’s quality is gauged according to its capacity to create a consensus, respect diversity and make coexistence easier, it is evident that the recently-adopted one in Egypt is highly deficient and polarising, with the potential to give rise to more problems than it resolves. The methods employed in its drafting and approval deprive Egypt of the hope of acquiring political stability and of allowing its economy to take off in the short and medium terms.

From a short-term point of view, the first six months of the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, the candidate presented by the Freedom and Justice Party –the Muslim Brothers’ political wing–, suggest that the Brotherhood has won all the political battles it has engaged in over the past 22 months. It could be argued that it has been able to consolidate its position as the leading political force of the post-Mubarak era, winning the legislative elections at the beginning of 2012 and then the presidential elections, having dislodged the military from power and drafted a constitution to its own liking and subsequently having it approved in a referendum.

Despite the Muslim Brotherhood’s apparent successes, its leaders rush to acquire and accumulate power has led them to resort to authoritarian means, abruptly pushing aside all those who think differently. This has generated widespread rejection and set against them the rest of non-Islamist political forces, several state institutions, the religious authorities of Al Azhar and the Coptic Churches, in addition to the non-governmental media. Furthermore, several presidential advisors and other high profile personalities have resigned in protest at decisions made by Morsi and his hierarchical superiors within the Brotherhood. Read more…

As published by Real Instituto Elcano on January 18, 2013.


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