Mubarak Resigns But…Will the Egyptian People Sing “Won’t Be Fooled Again”?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or forgot to pay your cable or internet bills, you’ve likely heard the news that President Hosni Mubarak has resigned his presidency today. As the BBC reports:

“In an announcement on state TV, Vice-President Omar Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the military.

It came as thousands massed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities for an 18th day of protest to demand Mr Mubarak’s resignation.

Protesters responded by cheering, waving flags, embracing and sounding car horns. “The people have brought down the regime,” they chanted.

Mr Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the high command of the armed forces.

“In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country,” he said.

Cairo's Tahrir Square

Protester: ‘I’ll tell my children we made this revolution possible’

“May God help everybody.”

The military high command is headed by Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.”

I’m all for celebrating the removal of a military dictator. However, as Mark W. Bennett noted on Twitter today:

As fellow fan of The Who, Scott Greenfield also retwitted:

The BBC further notes,

“But the army takeover looks very much like a military coup, our correspondent adds.

The constitution has been breached, he says, because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership.”

The BBC correspondent is correct. Here are the relevant portions of the Egyptian Constitution relating to the transfer of power of the Head of the State (my emphasis in bold):

Part One: The Head of the State
Art.73: The Head of the State is the President of the Republic . He shall assert the sovereignty of the people, respect for the Constitution and the supermacy of the law. He shall safeguard national unity and the socialist gains and maintain the limits between authorities in a manner to ensure that each shall perform its role in the national action.
Art.74: If any danger threatens the national unity or the safety of the motherland or obstructs the constitutional role of the State institutions, the President of the Republic shall take urgent measures to face this danger, direct a statement to the people and conduct a referendum on those measures within sixty days of their adoption.
Art.75: The President of the Republic should be an Egyptian born to Egyptian parents and enjoy civil and political rights. His age must not be less than 40 Gregorian years.
Art.76: The People’s Assembly shall nominate the President of the Republic . The nomination shall be referred to the people for a plebiscite. The nomination for the President of the Republic shall be made in the People’ Assembly upon the proposal of at least one third of its members. The candidate who obtains two thirds of the votes of the members of the People’s Assembly shall be referred to the people for a plebiscite . If he does not obtain the said majority the nomination process shall be repeated two days after the first vote. The candidate obtaining an absolute majority of the votes of the Assembly members shall be referred to the citizens for a plebiscite. The candidate shall be considered President of the Republic when he obtains an absolute majority of votes cast in the plebiscite. If the candidate does not obtain this majority, the Assembly shall propose the nomination of another candidate and the same procedure shall follow concerning his candidature and election.
Art.77**: The term of the presidency shall be six Gregorian years starting from the date of the announcement of result of the plebiscite. The President of the Republic may be re-elected for other successive terms.
Art.78: The procedures for the choice of a new President of the Republic shall begin sixty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office. The new President shall be selected at least one week before the expiration of the term. Should this term expire without the choice of a new President for whatever reason, the former President shall continue to exercise his functions until his successor is elected.
Art.79: Before exercising his functions, the President shall take the following oath before the People’s Assembly: “I swear by Almighty God to uphold the Republican system with loyalty, to respect the Constitution and the law, and to look after the interests of the people fully and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the motherland”.
Art.80: The salary of the President of the Republic shall be fixed by law. Any amendment in the salary shall not be applicable during the presidential term in which such an amendment is decided upon . The President of the Republic may not receive any other salary or remunerations.
Art.81: During his term of office the President of the Republic may not exercise any free profession or undertake any commercial, financial or industrial activity. Nor may he acquire or take or lease any state property, sell to or exchange with the State any property of his whatsoever.
Art.82: In case the President of the Republic , due to any temporary obstacle, is unable to carry out his functions, he shall delegate his powers to a Vice-President.
Art.83: In case of resignation, the President of the Republic shall address his letter of resignation to the People’s Assembly.
Art.84: In case of the vacancy of the Presidential office or the permanent disability of the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the People’s Assembly shall temporarily assume the Presidency. In case the People’s Assembly is dissolved at such a time the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court shall take over the Presidency on condition that neither one shall nominate himself for the Presidency. The People’s Assembly shall then proclaim the vacancy of the office of President . The President of the Republic shall be chosen within a maximum period of sixty days form the date of the vacancy of the Presidential office.
Art.85: Any charge against the President of high treason or of committing a criminal act shall be made upon a proposal by at least one third of the members of the People’s Assembly . No impeachment shall be issued except upon the approval of a majority of two-thirds of the Assembly members. The President of the Republic shall be suspended form the exercise of his duties as from the issuance of the impeachment . The Vice-President shall take over the Presidency temporarily until the decision concerning the impeachment is taken. The President of the Republic shall be tried by a special Tribunal set up by law. The law shall also organize the trial procedures and define the penalty. In case he is found guilty, he shall be relieved of his post without prejudice to other penalties.

(**) Amended according to the unanimity of the people’s approval to the constitutional amendment in the plebiscite conducted May, 22nd 1980.

The Revolution has only begun. Let’s wait and see whom the Egyptian army sides with in the coming struggle for power between the old guard and the youth-led revolutionaries.

As I wrote in a previous post:

“Before we jump to the conclusion that after three decades of police state brutality and suppression of freedom, the Rule of Law will reign supreme, consider also the following:

As Bennett wryly adds,

*** “Won’t Be Fooled Again”, The Who (lyrics by Pete Townshend)

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again

Change it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fall that’s all
But the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?

There’s nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: