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Egypt 1st-Hand: "Do I Now Regret Voting for Morsi? No."

Montage of protests against President Morsi on Friday and Saturday

An EA reader in Egypt sends us these thoughts on the political tension around President Morsi's extension of his powers:

Morsi’s sweeping power moves have their advantages and its disadvantages. I do not feel sorry for the Prosecutor General Abdel Maguidd Mahmoud [dismissed by Morsi's decrees last Thursday] because, during his term, many of [former President] Mubarak’s cronies were given enough time to remove or damage evidence against them before they were arrested. I am grateful that Morsy extended the deadline of the consiututional drafting committee for another two months. But the sweeping powers he gave himself are very suspicious, and we are dealing with a great crisis of trust nowadays.

Morsi’s decisions last Thursday are 50% good, such as removing Abdel Meguid Mahmoud and promising a re-trial of the Mubarak cronies. They are 50% not-so-good --- not charging [former head of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Mohamed Hussein Tantawi with any crime; ignoring the violence near Tahrir Square which has been going on since last Monday; sweeping up executive, legislative, and judicial powers in his hands, without appeal against him; and the way Talaat Abdallah was appointed the new Prosecutor General without consulting the judges or without elections among the judges.

I voted for Morsi last June, not because I liked him, but because I did not want [former Prime Minister Ahmed] Shafiq to win. Now, after Morsi’s decisions yesterday --- which I am suspicious about and do not really support --- and what is going on in Tahrir right now, do I regret voting for him? Well, no, I don’t regret my vote. Why? Because if Shafiq won in June, it would have been worse. No one would have been allowed to demonstrate in Tahrir or in any other place in Egypt. And Shafiq would have grabbed power with the help of the SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Froces]. And the terrible train crash of last Saturday would have occurred anyway, but Amr Adeeb, the famous news commentator, would have not dared to say that President Shafiq is a failure like he said about Morsi.

At least, under Morsi, the January 25 movement still has power.

I do not regret voting for Morsi, but he should know that if he does not show the Egyptians that he is serious about establishing real democracy, then he can be overthrown for not respecting that democracy. And if the Muslim Brothers are trying to take over 99% of power, then they should learn from what happened to Hosni Mubarak --- having 50% of power legitimately can be better and safer than having 90% of power through crooked methods.

I am not happy, and I am not very optimistic, but I know that there is still some hope.

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