Tantawi Struggles to Justify Hold on Power
Egyptian military junta leader Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi is setting the stage for yet more fighting over the future of Egypt, announcing today that the military will never allow any one political party to “dominate” the Egyptian political landscape.
Tantawi’s comments were directed at the ongoing battle against the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), whose candidate won the presidential election and which also holds the largest plurality in the (currently disbanded) parliament.
Ironically, with parliament ousted, the FJP has the only elected official in the country, and the various other parties which were part of the FJP-led coalition in parliament have lost whatever influence they might’ve had.
Egypt’s military is more than just a military, of course. With broad levels of conscription the Egyptian military has entered a number of industries nationwide, and dominates the economy at the expense of private companies which cannot compete with their exemption from regulation and endless supply of cheap conscripted labor.
Since the first elections began taking place the junta leadership has sought to preserve their privilege at all costs, and has tried to position the elected bodies as “extremist” to justify revoking powers from them. The battle for Egypt’s political future is sure to continue.
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