Standoff As Egypt Deadline Looms: Military May Seize Power (Again)

Reports: Military Would Scrap Egypt's New Constitution

A three-way standoff continues in Egypt today, as the “48 hour” ultimatum given by military leader Gen. Abdel al-Sisi draws ever-nearer. Protesters continue to mass demanding President Morsi’s resignation, Morsi is rebuffing demands to cede power to either protesters or military, and the military stands ready to seize power yet again.

Several of the disparate protest groups have now agreed that former IAEA leader Mohamed ElBaradei would represent them in any negotiations held on the future “roadmap,” though the military has already made it clear they have a roadmap all set to go.

According to people in the military, that roadmap is basically a return to the period immediately after the ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarak, when the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) acted as a de facto junta while a mostly powerless interim “council” will be given nominal power.

The military also intends to scrap the new constitution, passed in a referendum only six months ago, dissolve parliament and start writing another constitution, presumably one that will give the military even more permanent control than they already have. After that, new elections would be held, but since Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party has swept literally every free election Egypt had, it is unclear how the system will be changed to keep this from simply being a semi-annual coup.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.