Crisis in Egypt: A Coup or Pronunciamiento?

Egyptian Flag
Last week, Egyptians ousted President Morsi with the help of the military. 
Western News Media rushed into siding with Islamists by calling it a Military Coup. 

Let's take a quick look at a few forms of a Coup:

Military Coup: usually violent political engineering which affects who rules in the government, without radical changes in the form of the government, the political system. (Wikipedia) 

Comment: this is not what happened in Egypt. The Military did not usurp power through violent means or without notice; au contraire, the Egyptian military offered president Morsi (who seemed to serve his Muslim Brotherhood constituency only) a deadline for him to comply with the people's demands - if he refused to comply, then they would impose a roadmap to the future of the nation. 
This being said, this definition doesn't quite fit what went down in Egypt on the 3rd of July.

Coup d'étatwhen either the military, paramilitary or the political opposition suddenly and furtively ousts the current civilian government and seizes power. 

Comment: this is not what happened in Egypt either. Although it could be argued that since the Tamarod Movement led the protests (that eventually caused the deposition of president Morsi), the political opposition overthrew the civilian government to assume power. However, it wasn't the youth movement who assumed power and it wasn't sudden or furtive, it was the judiciary system so to speak (interim president Mansour is the head of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court) after Mr Morsi was warned - in part, because the youth knows its limitations. And this is why it is complex to designate the Egyptian events as a coup - although Muslim Brotherhood members apply the word out of political convenience.  

Pronunciamiento: a kind of coup d'état where the military deposes the civil government and installs another civil government, after having publicly expressed its opposition to it and its intentions. 

Comment: this seems more similar to what happened in Egypt; where the military (siding with the populace, gave President Morsi 48 hours to comply with the people's wishes and) served as a means to enforce the People's will, without wanting to rule (at least directly). As part of the roadmap, laid out by General al-Sisi, a top judge (Adly Mansour) was sworn in as the interim leader - backed up by the liberals, seculars, Coptic and Muslim religious leaders - until fresh elections take place. 

The Egyptian Summer (as some are calling it), and the resulting pronunciamiento, taught us important lessons: 
1. Democratically elected politicians, today, should avoid thinking that being elected grants them the right to play deaf to the electorate's discontentment and demands. Being elected into office is not a green light for neo-despotism. The people put you in office, the people may take you out of it, if it so wishes. 
2. Western Politicians (in particular those who hastened to express their worries that democracy, in Egypt, had been assaulted) seem to have forgotten what Democracy really means: power of the people; by the people and for the people. 
3. A politician is simply a democratic outcome and tool. A servant to democracy.
4. The social media changed the way politics is done. It has changed the democratic make-up. Politicians should acknowledge the fact and adjust as quickly as possible. 

President Morsi failed. He forgot that he was the president of all Egyptians and not of just 30% of them.  

And speaking of summer: it is time for me to rest a bit. I will be back in a few weeks. Until then, ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the small weekly treats I left for you. 


  1. Semantics do not matter Max. I have maintained that the Islamic world is going through and will continue to go through turbulence for the next few years. Shia vs Sunni, Islamists vs Secular Muslims, Rulers vs the ruled, Taliban vs the non Taliban, Buddhists vs Muslims and so on and so forth. We will see much more in many places before the dust settles down to a completely different Islamic world. Quite what it would look like is anybody's guess. We should all worry about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal rather than anything else. We should simply let them sort it all out among themselves.

  2. It is important to make the proper distinction of what happened in Egypt, it wasn't a coup period! 33 million people gathered in a square to reject the Islamization of Egypt and the usurpation of power. Kicking president Mursy was vital if Egypt is to ever meet the face of democracy! It won't be easy, it will be violent, but so was the French revolution...Go Egypt!

  3. And events are beginning to sort themselves out -

  4. Rummuser is right about the prospects for stability. Egypt has more than 82 million people with little agricultural land, a rapidly growing population, and no hope for prosperity no matter who leads.

    The definition of the word "coup" was formally redefined in Honduras in 2009. As usual, a leftist leader was trying to rip up the constitution, and the supreme court demanded his ouster. The definition of coup now as follows: "coup - The removal of a political leader from power who is in favor with western intellectualoids by a means other than natural death or overwhelming defeat in a democratic election." This definition has its own problems because it leaves "natural death" undefined as well as "overwhelming defeat in a democratic election".

  5. The new PM, the former finance minister, recognises the difficult economic of his country. In his words: "The thing is we have a situation whereby we have to tighten the belt. And this means we have to pay a price," and "And it is difficult to ask people to sacrifice, particularly after the revolution, where everyone was expecting to get rewards for past experiences." (Foreign Policy Magazine)
    Mr Looney said Egypt faced a difficult time because it has no agricultural land; it didn't in Mubarak's era either, however there was a sense of prosperity because Mubarak was turning Egypt into a tourist and services country. Perhaps the new leadership could take some lessons from the past, yes? But Mr Looney is right, it will be hard to control a country of 82 million people whose staple food is made of something it has to import because its production doesn't meet the national necessities - wheat.
    Very nice article, Mr Max.

  6. Olá Max!

    Morsy made many mistakes and the gravest mistake of them all? Not to be able to secure the loyalty of the central security forces and the military itself. These two hold the real power in Egypt and they are not to be messed with.
    I agree with Looney: whomever comes next will have huge difficulties in solving this crisis, just like Morsy did. But I can only hope that he will be smarter by understanding that as long as he protects the interests of the military and secures a stable electoral base, he is good to go!

    Have a great rest, my darling. You sure deserve it!


  7. The military is already threatening to ban the Muslim Brotherhood...talking about a dejá vu! It is amazing the human capacity to repeat mistakes!
    I agree with Rummuser: just let them sort it out among themselves and if they finish each other off...oh well...and yes, the Pakistani nuclear issue is more important and more lethal and more dangerous to the region than Egypt! Have a great rest, girlfriend!

  8. Clap-Clap...I think your 4 part summarisation is one of the best and couldn't more on that. The 4 points really should define where our society is heading towards and be the ideal doctrine for any Country or government wanting to dominate polity. Sometimes, it may not keep the external sharks happy but atleast you'll have the satisfaction that you have worked for the people and won their hearts through fair means and governance and not through clandestine ways in which most countries of the world try to govern today. Somewhere I feel extreme greed of few individuals really come in the way to clean,transparent governance and dealings and nothing else. I believe if the people are with you, no power, no force in the world can deride you and it can happen vice versa. Its time the administrators open their eyes and not try to take people for a ride!

  9. Have some great Holidays Max!!!

    All the best


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