Reactions to Egyptian army’s political roadmap range from rejection by Islamists to support from Gulf monarchs

By bne IntelliNews July 5, 2013

Domestic and international reaction to the Egyptian army's imposed roadmap for the country's political future varied from street violence to open support.

Domestically

Waiting no time following the ouster of President Morsi, the generals true to their roadmap for the political future of the country hastily oversaw the swearing in of Judge Adli Mansour, the Supreme Justice of the Constitutional Court, as interim President of Egypt. President Mansour gave a conciliatory speech to the nation inviting all political forces, including the Muslim Brotherhood from whose ranks hailed former President Morsi, to participate in the transition towards an inclusive democratic political system. On its part, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership asserted that President Morsi was ousted in a coup d’état refusing to cooperate with the new authorities and calling on its members to take onto the streets in support of Morsi. In the aftermath of Morsi’s ouster, several violent clashes took place between pro- and anti-Morsi camps throughout the country leaving a handful of deaths and a few hundred wounded although Cairo was relatively calm. On the first day of trading in the post-Morsi era, local investors gave a resounding vote of confidence in the new leadership and its roadmap with the EGX-30 index of leading stocks soaring by 7.31%.   

Regionally and Internationally

Gulf Arab petro-monarchies lead by Saudi Arabia openly supported the army's roadmap. In a note published by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Abdallah thanked the new authorities for their action. His support may have been fuelled in part from fear of an Egypt lead by Islamist Morsi may embolden home grown Islamists against the rule of the Saudi monarchs. But also the re-entry into domestic politics of the Egyptian army, deemed as central to the regional balance of power against the likes of Iran, gives Saudi Arabia greater leverage and a larger room for manoeuvre in regional politics.

Meanwhile, Western capitals caught between a rock and a hard place trying to remain true to their democratic principles and having had to deal for a year with an inept Morsi leading the Arab world’s most populous nation were careful not to be seen backing the generals’ intervention in politics while urging the new authorities to complete the handover to democratically elected President and parliament as soon as practically possible.

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