While having officially spent no more than 24 hours in office, analysts are monitoring the words and actions of the newly elected president Mohammed Mursi in an attempt to gain insight into his future performance.
“The coming phase is very critical and that is why all the next steps have to be very carefully calculated,” Judge Tahani al-Gebaly, deputy head of the Supreme Constitutional Court told Al Arabiya’s Second Republic.
For Gebaly, the most pressing issue the president needs to take care of as soon as possible is bringing back security to the Egyptian street.
“The president can use the help of the armed forces at this point to maintain law and order and they have so far been doing a good job at that since the eruption of the revolution until the present moment.”
Gebaly said that inviting members of parliament to Mursi’s Cairo University speech in their capacity as such is a constitutional violation.
“They cannot be invited as members of parliament because the parliament is now dissolved. They can only be treated as public figures.”
Gebaly noted that Mursi took oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court as stipulated in the Supplementary Constitutional Declaration which means that he is abiding by it and that similarly he should abide by the court order that dissolved the parliament.
“The president cannot come to power through constitutional legitimacy then turn against it. He is also not empowered to cancel the declaration.”
Despite the few obstacles facing democratic transition, Gebaly said that the situation in Egypt is miraculous when compared to other neighboring countries.
“At least there is no violence and bloodshed like what is happening in other uprisings.”
Amr Hamzawi, professor of political science, analyzed Mursi’s performance through the speeches he gave since he was announced winner of the presidential elections.
“Mohammed Mursi gave four speeches: the first right after the Presidential Elections Commission announced the results, the second in Tahrir Square, the third in Cairo University, and the fourth at the Hike Step military base outside Cairo.”
In the first speech, Hamzawi noted, Mursi mentioned establishing the civilian state while this was not the case in the other three.
“There was no mention of the civilian state at all in the second, third, and fourth speeches.”
In the Cairo University speech, Hamzawi added, Mursi stressed that the armed forces will go back to their original duty of safeguarding the Egyptian borders.
“He also mentioned the Syrian revolution for the first time. It was good to profess support to regional causes.”
As for Mursi’s speech at the military base, Hamzawi pointed out, it basically revolved around the major role the army plays in Egypt and how important it is.
“In a democracy, the army should not interfere in politics and should actually be monitored by civil organizations.”
Hamzawi objected to Mursi’s statement about elected bodies going back to doing their job, in reference to the parliament.
“The court dissolved the parliament and court rulings have to be respected. Plus, the president has to abide by the constitution and the law and he cannot act now like he used to as a member of a party or as a public figure.”
Hamzawi said that he refused to attend the speech as a member of parliament and only accepted to go when he got an invitation from the presidency as a public figure.
Concerning the status of the Muslim Brotherhood after Mursi’s victory, Hamzawi said that the new president has to put pressure on the group to legalize its situation.
“He cannot work with a group that is technically illegal. This is his responsibility since he vowed to respect the constitution and the law.”
Hamzawi stressed the importance of not imposing the agenda of a specific party or political faction on the Egyptian scene.
“The president should have a national platform that should be implemented through a team of assistants and advisors. Meanwhile, other political powers should to practice their role as members of the opposition. This is how a democracy is established.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)