Egypt’s constitutional panel expels protesting members as judges go on strike

posted at 10:31 am on November 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The political crisis in Egypt escalated over the last 24 hours, with moves on both sides showing a widening gulf between the promise of a democratic revolution and the reality of an Islamist power grab.  Mohamed Morsi’s constitutional assembly, controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist allies, voted this morning to boot 11 dissenting members who had refused to attend sessions in protest over the direction of the panel:

Liberal members of the panel have withdrawn to protest what they say is the hijacking of the process by Islamists loyal to Morsi. The panel’s president, Hossam al-Ghiryani, began Thursday’s session by ordering a vote by a show of hands to dismiss 11 members he said exceeded the number of sessions they are allowed to miss without risking dismissal.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of their dismissal and substitute members stepped in to fill their place.

The 11, who included former foreign minister and presidential candidate Amr Moussa, liberal politician Waheed Abdel-Maguid and two Christians, are among as many as 30 members who have pulled out in protest over recent weeks.

The panel is trying to get the new constitution in place before the nation’s top court can dissolve it:

An Islamist-dominated panel tasked to write a new constitution for Egypt began voting on Thursday on the document’s final draft, a move likely to stoke a widening political crisis over decrees giving the nation’s Islamist president near absolute powers.

Fast tracking the process is aimed at pre-empting a possible ruling on Sunday by the Supreme Constitutional Court to dissolve the constitutional assembly. The court will also rule on the legitimacy of parliament’s upper chamber, also dominated by Islamists. The lower chamber, the lawmaking People’s Assembly, was dissolved by the same court in June.

However, the judges might not be around anyway.  In a blow to Morsi’s standing, the judges of Egypt’s most prominent courts walked out in protest over the power grab by the new President and his Islamist allies:

In an escalation of the tug-of-war between Egypt’s president and the powerful judiciary, judges in the country’s top courts went on strike Wednesday to protest Mohammed Morsi’s seizure of near absolute powers, while Islamists rushed to complete a new constitution, the issue at the heart of the dispute.

The moves came a day after at least 200,000 protesters filled Cairo’s central Tahrir Square to denounce the decrees Morsi issued last week, which place him above oversight of any kind, including by the courts.

However, that top court plans to stick around at least until Sunday, just to deal with Morsi’s “constitution”:

In a sign the dispute may take a sharp turn, the Supreme Constitutional Court said in a statement that it will go ahead with plans to rule Sunday on whether to dissolve the assembly writing the new constitution, which is dominated by the Brotherhood and its Islamist allies.

“The court is determined to rise above its pain and continue its sacred mission until the end, wherever that takes us,” Maher Sami, the high court’s deputy chairman, said in a televised speech.

Morsi and his allies plan to call for a nationwide referendum on the new constitution in an effort to moot the court’s power over the panel.  Presumably, that won’t stop the court from making a ruling, since Egypt can’t hold a plebescite in the next three days, but the move would allow Morsi to argue that the people should make the decision whether to back the new constitution rather than the judges.  However, thanks to Western insistence on holding quick elections in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s forced departure, the only political parties organized well enough for national elections are the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.

The Boss Emeritus warned that this is a blueprint that the Muslim Brotherhood has waited decades to implement, and it has one outcome in mind:


Referring to Egypt’s recently-elected President Mohammed Morsi who asserted himself near-absolute powers, Malkin charged, “If you want to know what the blueprint for an Islamic caliphate enabled by Western ignoramuses looks like, look at Egypt now.” She concluded, “They’re playing America’s leaders for fools.”

And their own people, although the latter seems to be more awake to the danger than the former.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It’s too bad we can’t get our citizens to start protesting over our corrupt, narcissistic, clueless, and malevolent faux leader. Gee, the people even have their own judges on their side. Is this an upside down world or what? They have a better chance at saving their country than we do.

BetseyRoss on November 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM

The panel’s president, Hossam al-Ghiryani, began Thursday’s session by ordering a vote by a show of hands to dismiss 11 members he said exceeded the number of sessions they are allowed to miss without risking dismissal.

Can we vote out the ninth circuit court of appeals. They haven’t had their brains present for quite some time.

STL_Vet on November 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM

In a blow to Morsi’s standing, the judges of Egypt’s most prominent courts walked out in protest over the power grab by the new President and his Islamist allies…

How is that a blow to his standing? It just gives him free rein to replace them with those people more in line with his supporters.

Mitoch55 on November 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Did you think that empowering the Muslim Brotherhood would inevitably and as a matter of basic common sense result in an Islamist power grab and Egyptian theocracy? Congratulations, you are officially smarter than the head of the U.S. State Department, the President of the United States, and their assorted media lickspittles.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/opinion/roger-cohen-working-with-the-muslim-brotherhood.html?_r=0

JeremiahJohnson on November 29, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Egypt has no democracy, they have the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood will settle only for a good ole fashioned Islamic Caliphate. It’s end will be very similar to the Obama Economy’s end, which in turn will be just like the Ford Focus’s end in this video.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 10:50 AM

How long do you think it’s going to be before people realize
Presidential edicts might not be such a good idea in the USA ?

Lucano on November 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

If one puts on ‘rose-coloured glasses’ why the picture is perfect!

See! There is no power grab by the extreme Islamists, they are all so warm n fuzzy like… what’s not to like eh? /

Dumb dumb dumb-assed admin…’nuff said…

Intentional? Hell yeah!

We have an undercover Muzzie in the House…

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Most important constitutional question du jour: when will they finally start killing each other? We have plenty of weapons to sell to both sides!

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Just reminded that O bought a prison in IL against the will
of congress . Think we’re going to load that facility up with
radical Islamist from Gitmo ?

Lucano on November 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

How long do you think it’s going to be before people realize
Presidential edicts might not be such a good idea in the USA ?

Lucano on November 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

As soon as it’s to late, that’s when…

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Hope the Egyptians enjoy that one free election they struggled so hard for.
They do understand that in any form of a “Democracy” you need more than just one election.

Jabberwock on November 29, 2012 at 11:02 AM

They do understand that in any form of a “Democracy” you need more than just one election.

Jabberwock on November 29, 2012 at 11:02 AM

They are Muslims, so the answer is obviously no, no they do not. More importantly, they do not care, they only pretend to want Democracy because it allows them to milk the US out of hundreds of Billions of dollars.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I’m a little despot, short and stout…
– M. Morsi

Droopy on November 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM

SWalker ,
I pray that you’re wrong …… but I fear that you’re right .

Lucano on November 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Most important constitutional question du jour: when will they finally start killing each other? We have plenty of weapons to sell to both sides!

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM

You have summed up my Middle East Policy. There are no good guys anywhere over there, and I do not want to spend one dime or one American life to stop them from killing each other.

Night Owl on November 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

One way or another the Brotherhood is gonna win… a lot of blood will be shed in the process.

Anyone deemed a ‘freedom’ lover will be done away with…

Nov 29 (Reuters) – An assembly drafting Egypt’s new constitution voted on Thursday to keep the principles of Islamic law as the main source of legislation, unchanged from the previous constitution in force under former President Hosni Mubarak.

The issue was the subject of a long dispute between hardline Salafi Islamists and liberals in the assembly which will vote on each of 234 articles in the draft constitution before it is sent to President Mohamed Mursi for approval.

After that, Mursi must put it to a popular referendum.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that nominated Mursi for the presidency, hopes that quick approval of the constitution will help end a crisis ignited by a decree that expanded his powers.

While Article Two of the constitution – describing the source of legislation – stays the same, the constitution includes new provisions explaining what is meant by “the principles” of Islamic law, known as sharia.

The assembly also approved a new article that states that Al-Azhar, a seat of Sunni Muslim learning, must be consulted on “matters related to the Islamic sharia”….

The process has been plagued by disputes between the Islamists who dominate the body writing the constitution and secular-minded parties who say the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies have marginalised them in the process.

Prominent assembly members including former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa have withdrawn from the assembly, as have representatives of Egypt’s Coptic Church.

H/T JihadWatch

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

How can anyone think that this will end well? For 4,000 years they’ve been ruled by faux gods and ruthless dictators. SSDD everywhere…

RedInMD on November 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Night Owl on November 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Agree!! Enough already…

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM

USC…training the dictators of the future today!

menacetosobriety on November 29, 2012 at 11:12 AM

He who controls the tanks……controls the *nation.

*In a country where the citizens are unarmed.

PappyD61 on November 29, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Night Owl on November 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Agree!! Enough already…

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I say we should provide every Muslim Brotherhood nation nuclear weapons… Delivered via ICBM… Sunlight is after all, still the best disinfectant. Even if it is man made sunlight…

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

They are Muslims, so the answer is obviously no, no they do not. More importantly, they do not care, they only pretend to want Democracy because it allows them to milk the US out of hundreds of Billions of dollars.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM

From the MB viewpoint, you are right on. That is exactly what they are thinking.
However, IIRC the actual election of Morsi was pretty close. Nearly half the Egyptian population voted against him and they stand to be pretty pissed even as we speak. Add in those that might be offended by this new constitution ( women hit pretty hard ) and you’ll have a pretty potent opposition to the MB.
Lots of folks there took the right to vote seriously. I do not think they are willing to give it up so quickly.

Point I am trying to make is that Egypt will be a violent place for next six months as this is literally fought over.

Jabberwock on November 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

What has Hillary done at State that hasn’t been a disaster?

forest on November 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

However, thanks to Western insistence on holding quick elections in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s forced departure, the only political parties organized well enough for national elections are the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.

That isn’t the case. Egypt has a number of powerful factions and Mursi’s recent decree has served to unite them and they have a pretty good chance of blocking the MB parties in a national referendum.

lexhamfox on November 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Agree!! Enough already…

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I think we should pull our troops out of that whole area, along with any non muslims who want to leave. Then tell them the next time they commit an act of terror against us or our allies, we will nuke them out of existence. Caliphate, my butt.

Night Owl on November 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM

From the MB viewpoint, you are right on. That is exactly what they are thinking.
However, IIRC the actual election of Morsi was pretty close. Nearly half the Egyptian population voted against him and they stand to be pretty pissed even as we speak. Add in those that might be offended by this new constitution ( women hit pretty hard ) and you’ll have a pretty potent opposition to the MB.
Lots of folks there took the right to vote seriously. I do not think they are willing to give it up so quickly.

Point I am trying to make is that Egypt will be a violent place for next six months as this is literally fought over.

Jabberwock on November 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

And the point I am making is that you misunderstand the Islamic mindset. Even the half that voted against Morsi hold the same view of Democracy, they didn’t vote against Morsi because they believe in real Democracy, but because Morsi wasn’t their flavor of Islamic Caliph…

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I think we should pull our troops out of that whole area, along with any non muslims who want to leave. Then tell them the next time they commit an act of terror against us or our allies, we will nuke them out of existence. Caliphate, my butt.

Night Owl on November 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I totally agree, except for the whole waiting thing. Why wait for the inevitable? Pull our people out and any non Muslims that want to leave, refuse to allow any Muslim to leave, then send all the remaining Muslim to their desired reward with Allah. It’s a win-win for everybody.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Egypt has merely been a practice run for Owebama. He wants to know which pitfalls to avoid if possible.

katablog.com on November 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Muslim Brotherhood is a “largely secular” group, what’s the big problem here? Sheesh.

Kenosha Kid on November 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Egypt has merely been a practice run for Owebama. He wants to know which pitfalls to avoid if possible.

katablog.com on November 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM

I thought Honduras in 2009 was a good enough dry run for him.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I totally agree, except for the whole waiting thing. Why wait for the inevitable? Pull our people out and any non Muslims that want to leave, refuse to allow any Muslim to leave, then send all the remaining Muslim to their desired reward with Allah. It’s a win-win for everybody.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

to make the dream perfect, you should have included the part in which we deport local Muslims back to their camel dung-eating homelands.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

to make the dream perfect, you should have included the part in which we deport local Muslims back to their camel dung-eating homelands.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Well, you know, every really great plan needs a few minor tweaks made to it… ;)

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

They boosted them out huh? Next thing you know the islamists will throw dissenters in jail.

jake49 on November 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.

And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river, in the site of Pharaoh, and in the site of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank; and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

Exodus 7:19-21

redguy on November 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I can hardly wait for 4 more years of “Smart Diplomacy”.

GarandFan on November 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM

“Playing America’s leaders for fools” = shooting fish in a barrel.

Xasprtr on November 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

However, thanks to Western insistence on holding quick elections in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s forced departure, the only political parties organized well enough for national elections are the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies

BS. That’s not “thanks to the West”, that’s “thanks to Hosni Mubarak, who made sure that the Islamists were the only organized political group that wasn’t crushed by the government.”

Leaving him, or any of his cronies, in charge would be rewarding the people who gave the Islamists their power in the first place.

No way.

Greg Q on November 29, 2012 at 6:59 PM