Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:10PM
Interview with Zayd al-Isa, Middle East expert & political commentator

Interview with Zayd al-Isa, Middle East expert & political commentator

An Egyptian NGO known as Judges for Egypt says that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi has won the country’s presidential run-off election. The Egyptian judges association announced Morsi as the winner on Wednesday, saying it has obtained the results without interference from either candidate's campaigns. Egyptians cast their ballots in a two-day presidential run-off election on June 16 and 17, which pitted the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Mohammed Morsi, against former Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq. Both candidates in Egypt’s presidential election are claiming victory. Press TV has conducted an interview with Zayd al-Isa, Middle East expert and political commentator from London, to further discuss the issue. Below is an approximate transcript of the interview. Press TV: We have the Military Council dissolving the parliament, taking control of the state budget and giving itself veto power on new constitutions. So at the end of the day, what is left for president, then? Isa: Absolutely nothing. That is the whole intention. The Military Council never intended to go down the democratic part. So what has happened over the last week approved beyond shadow of doubt that what the majority of the revolutionaries actually suspected has materialized the overarching goal of the military is actually to retain, consolidate and also retain all power that it has, all the privileges. They want to keep them and let’s not forget that the military has been at the heart of politics; they have been at the center of politics; all previous presidents came from the military and that is why we are seeing the all-hearted support and emphatic backing to Ahmed Shafiq. Although according to one of the rules that he actually belongs to the previous government, he was the last prime minister; he is one of the henchmen of Mubarak; he is actually one of his right-hand men and he should not have actually been allowed to run; he should have been banned from running. But we can see clearly that those events are which mainly has been the dissolving of the parliament, although it has been elected freely and it represents the will of the people, and that is the main thing about democracy. The parliament has to be representative of the overwhelming will of the people. Even though that the constitutional court has ruled that it is going to dissolve the parliament, I do not think that [this happens] within the rights although they can [plot out] one-third of the representative but it is only an elected president who has the right to actually dissolve the parliament. That is why, before announcing a president, they want to empty that position and severely undermine and severely limit the authorities or the powers of any president. So basically at the end of the day the military will be as usual business as usual, will be ultimately running the show and it will be calling the shot with those decisions. I do believe that those decisions are completely counter-productive; the military has miscalculated particularly by announcing the dissolution of the parliament before the presidential elections, two days before that, because that actually has spectacularly backfired by galvanizing more support for Mohamed Morsi, although the people were actually disillusioned and disappointed with the performance of the Muslim Brotherhood within the parliament because they achieved very little during the period they actually were the dominant power in the parliament but that act which could not be explained other than basically resorting to the old tyrannical method of the old regime by going ahead and dissolving the parliament, I do believe, played into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. It actually restored their image of being targeted and being victimized and that is why it galvanized more support for them; it has boosted their position and also it is playing directly into the hands of the revolutionaries by proving beyond the shadow that if the Military Council is given an inch, it is going to take a mile in terms of enhancing, consolidating and boosting its position by retaining all sorts of power. I do believe that is why we see the people taking back to the streets because that is the only means for them to exert leverage over the Military Council and to show beyond a shadow that they are the ones that must be given the power because the parliament was elected by them. They have taken to the streets defying the old regime, defying the military over and over again and we can see a momentum-building; we can see that the protests are gathering pace and gathering momentum and we can see that there is a new spirit developing within the protesters that we were the ones that ousted, the ones that toppled Mubarak. Press TV: Mr. Isa, how far do you think the people will go to get their demands met though? Isa: I think mainly the protests are taking place today on top of demonstrating and protesting the decisions of the military to dissolve the parliament and to turn the presidency into something only symbolic and to actually [slurp it up] and robbing of all the authorities and power. They are trying to preempt and prevent the military from actually falsifying the results of the elections by declaring that somehow Ahmed Shafiq has actually managed to win the elections and by doing that, then, it will mean at the end of the day that the military has completely succeeded in robbing the people of their revolution and we are back at square one and that means the old regime is there. MSK/JR
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