Once touted as “liberals” and “reformists,” the secular backers of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution didn’t take kindly to being trounced repeatedly in elections through 2012 and 2013. With the coup earlier this month, they have done a remarkable 180 in their stance on political independence from military rule.
It’s not even that so-called “liberal” factions like that of Mohamed ElBaradei are relieved at the ouster of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), a party that has had their number in elections. They’re now outspoken advocates of military rule, slamming any and all critics of the new junta.
The spokesmen of these parties are condemning the elected government, now ousted, as “treasonous” for daring to oppose the coup, and demanding harsh action against “filthy” protest leaders who are complaining about last week’s military massacre of their supporters.
But what’s the future in this new stance? Analysts are warning that Islamist nationalist factions that dominated the elections are being brushed aside by the rise of an array of secular nationalists backing that military. But beyond getting a handful of powerless “interim” positions to rubber-stamp the new junta’s decisions, it isn’t clear how this is a big step up for Egypt’s “liberals,” and in many ways it’s a big step back in credibility if Egypt ever has free elections again.
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