Published on New Left Project, by Jamie Allinson, June 22, 2012.
To describe the actions of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt during the second round of the presidential elections as a ‘coup’, although an understandable piece of political rhetoric, is not quite accurate. A coup is mounted against an existing ruling group. SCAF are the ruling group in Egypt, and their reversal by fiat of every democratic gain of the 25th January revolution is designed to maintain them in that power. The correct word for this is ‘counter-revolution’.
To recap what SCAF has done through the judicial means of the Presidential Election Committee and Constitutional Court: reinstated the provisions of the Mubarak-era emergency law allowing the military to arrest civilians and repress protests; dissolved Parliament; abnegated the Political Disenfranchisement law, thereby permitting Ahmed Shafiq to run in the second round of the presidential elections; issued a constitutional amendment giving SCAF legislative authority in the absence of the parliament the Council itself had just dissolved, establishing a National Defence Council of unknown and wide-ranging powers, ensuring SCAF’s veto over any future constituent assembly and endowing the military with potentially unlimited powers in the (highly likely) event of widespread unrest. These decrees are an attempt by SCAF, now that the claim ‘the people and the army are one hand’ has become so visibly untenable, to reverse the outcome of the “Battle of the Camel” of February 2011: perhaps to establish a Mubarakism with a more inhuman face … //
… When the president-elect is announced, it is quite likely that the losing side will not accept the result. In that case, a decisive clash between the legitimacy of the revolution and the legitimacy of the state will be posed. Yet there is no dual power in Egypt: at most there is a situation of one-and-a-bit power. A Brotherhood-sized revolutionary entity of political cohesion, organisational reach and economic power would be needed to bring about the former. It is not there – yet, at least. (full text and short video).
Egypt: Supreme Council of the Armed Forces SCAF;