Egypt’s Junta Support Collapses Amid Growing Anger Over ‘Decree’

Liberal Bloc Spurns Junta Edict on Constitution

Initially sold to the Egyptian public as the “people’s” choice in the wake of anti-government rallies, the nation’s new junta is finding itself losing allies left and right, and rapidly losing what little legitimacy it may have claimed.

After losing the al-Nour Party, Egypt’s second largest, in the wake of yesterday’s massacre, the junta now has the largest Liberal bloc repudiating it in response to a “decree” by the military-imposed interim president.

The decree detailed how the new constitution would be drafted, and after the moderate factions were disappointed in the last constitution for being too Islamist, they aren’t holding out much hope for the new committee of pro-military Mubarak-era judges doing any better.

If anything, the edict also cemented the reality that “interim” rule is going to be protracted indeed, with the first new elections being pushed back until at least early 2014, and the odds of a new president coming before 2015 slim at best.

Human rights groups also warn that the decree is giving the military broad discretion to return to the era of military tribunals for captured civilian detainees, another return to Mubarak-style military rule.

Though there are still a handful of political factions supporting the coup, that number is dwindling fast, and groups with any real clout are drying up quickly. This might hurt the military’s image abroad, though nations like the US seem eager to support the coup in everything but name, and the loss of political support may even free the military’s hand in some ways, allowing it to rule by force with less concern for political groups that don’t back it.

Having already denounced massacred protesters for the ousted government as “terrorists,” the military has set a precedent that it can do as it pleases, at least for now.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.