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2013年7月 7日 (日)

エジプト政変 大統領の失政が招いた軍介入

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 7, 2013
Egypt’s leaders must quickly come to terms to guard regional stability
エジプト政変 大統領の失政が招いた軍介入(7月6日付・読売社説)

Mohammed Morsi, who became Egypt’s first democratically elected president one year ago, has been outsted in a de facto coup by the military.

The country’s transition to democratic rule, which was championed in the wake of a dictatorship, is now facing a critical test. Tensions between the military and Morsi supporters have been rising, inciting concern that a wave of clashes between the two forces could aggravate the turmoil.

The military deposed Morsi as president and placed him under arrest, claiming the country was on the verge of a security crisis. Adly Mansour, the supreme justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, has been sworn in as interim president until a new leader is elected.

The military has suspended the Islamist-drafted Constitution and announced a plan to call a presidential election in the near future, but there has been no indication the chaos will subside.

The coup was triggered by a string of massive demonstrations calling for Morsi’s resignation on the anniversary of his first year in office. Since then, the square in central Cairo has been swamped with protesters every day. The scale of demonstrations is reminiscent of those that led to the toppling of the long-standing regime led by President Hosni Mubarak.

Repeated clashes beween pro- and anti-Morsi elements have claimed lives in various parts of the country.

Policy gaffes sparked crisis

The leading factor behind the rebellion was a series of policy blunders by Morsi.

Morsi was elected with a campaign pledge to improve Egyptians’ livelihoods, but food prices have been skyrocketing and fuel shortages have reached a dire level.

Additionally, public safety has deteriorated due to an increase in heinous crimes. The number of international tourists and the amount of foreign investment have dropped with no sign of recovery.

Morsi unilaterally issued a decree to bolster the power and authority of the president. He pushed through the enactment of a heavily Islamic Constitution in line with the policy of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails. His political stance has drawn a backlash from secular and liberal forces.

Widespread political unrest and a rapid expansion of anti- government movements, it may be said, gave the military a pretense for political intervention.

The military-led interim government will be challenged over its ability to restore stability and resume a democratically oriented process for reconstuction of the country.

Calm reconciliation needed

The military has been trying to quell protests by force, including detaining many leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, for its part, has called for supporters to hold rallies across the nation. It is feared such a defiant stance could further aggravate the situation.

Europe, the United States and Japan, which have backed the democratization of Egypt, expressed concern about the military’s dismissal of Morsi while avoiding direct criticism of the armed forces and calling for a prompt return to civilian control.

To move forward, the military and the Brotherhood must come to the negotiating table and realize national reconciliation as soon as possible.

In Tunisia and Libya, which are both Egypt’s neighbors, the road to democracy was rocky following the collapse of despotic rule. Syria is still suffering from a civil war.

To ensure regional stability, it is indispensable for Egypt, a major power in the area, to swiftly resolve the internal chaos and continue on the path toward democracy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 6, 2013)
(2013年7月6日01時29分  読売新聞)


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