Almost two years ago unrest in various countries of the Middle East led to revolution. What was termed the Arab Spring led to the down fall of many leaders. One was President Mubarak of Egypt. The people of Egypt hoped for a better tomorrow and sacrificed a great deal to oust Mubarak from Office.
After the trials and tribulations of the Egyptian people you now have to wonder if they replaced one despot with another.
President Morsi gave himself sweeping powers. Many people took the streets again and in recent weeks protesters set up camp in Tahir Square. It was here that the revolutionaries had camped during the Arab Spring. demanding change.
In 2010 they had battled the army who were supporting Mubarak. It appears as if the Egyptian Army may once again be set against the people, who ultimately they serve. Only a few short hours ago pundits were claiming that Morsi had rescinded the decree granting him extensive powers and backed away from using the military to arrest any opposition. Now the latter is about to happen, allegedly temporarily.
The country is facing a constitutional referendum. The people are far from happy. Morsi's response has been to give the military temporary powers to arrest civilians.
With seven deaths last week and hundreds of casualties more bloodshed is expected. Morsi's Palace is nw surrounded by military power which is reminiscent of the old Mubarak days. Any arrests by military this week will not face justice nor be released until after Saturday's constitutional vote.
A military spokesperson claimed that the only people who will be arrested are those breaking the law in relation to the referendum, by for example burning buildings. He went on to claim that such arrests would be carried out if deemed necessary to allow the referendum to take place. Many of those who more freedoms in Egypt are against the vote.
At the heart of many of the problems is religious differences. If a hardline Islamist State is created those who protested for freedom during the Arab Spring may find their lives far from free.
The International Monetary Fund has made loans to Egypt but they had strings attached. One was tax rises. They have had to be suspended today.
Tomorrow Tuesday December 11 there are more widespread protests planned for Egypt. The army has already made dark threats of action should Egypt look as if it spiraling further out of control.
The country is more divided than ever. What price the Arab Spring?
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog
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