On July 3, the Egyptian military arrested the first democratically elected president of their country, Mohammed Morsi. This was the result of four days of massive protests across Egypt by its citizens who were not pleased about the direction that Morsi was taking the country. Although he was democratically elected, he was snatching up more and more dictatorial powers, to make him almost seem as bad as the previous regime. The chief judge of Egypt’s constitutional court, Aldy Mansour, was sworn in as interim president on Tuesday, July 9, and he appointed a new Prime Minister and Vice President to try to regain a sense of normalcy in this state of turmoil. The constitution has been suspended, and Mansour now has the full power to make laws.
The Egyptian military had been demanding for weeks for Morsi to radically change the way he was running the country, with the threat of removal from office. Morsi is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and had been aiming to implement Sharia Law into Egypt’s national law. This went against the main reason that the new democratic government was created in the first place – freedom of religion. The people of Egypt would have none of it, and launched protests against Morsi, calling for his removal.
When the Army Chief of Staff on July 3 announced that they had ousted President Morsi, Egyptian citizens standing on Tahrir Square in Cairo started cheering, waving flags, and dancing. They launched fireworks, and people were generally very happy that Morsi was overthrown. They expressed that they were proud of their military, for supporting the people. According to the Associated Press, 38-year-old Mona el-Desouki waved an Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square and said, “Life came back to us. Egypt is ours again. Our life will become as it was, with no difference between Muslims and Christians.”
President Morsi retaliated by circulating a video shot by a cell phone in the social media, saying that “They want to suspend this constitution, and I refuse that completely.” It is a hectic mess right now in Egypt, with pro-Morsi protesters turning violent, and no one knows if the army did the right thing or the wrong thing. President Obama and his administration has chosen to not take sides, although he did say that he was deeply troubled by what happened, and that the Egyptian military should “move quickly and responsibly to return full atuthority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters.”