Analyzing Egypt

...The Rescinding of the November 22 Decree: Many commentators have interpreted Morsi's rescinding of the November 22 constitutional decree that granted him de facto dictatorial powers as a sign of genuine compromise owing to the pressure of opposition protests and violent unrest. Morsi's move is no such thing.

The decree was designed in the first place to hasten the process of finishing the draft constitution and putting it to referendum, sidelining the judiciary and the non-Islamist opposition in the process, with all actions in the interim between the passing and rescinding of the decree remaining beyond judicial review, together with the new prosecutor general appointed by Morsi keeping his position.

The rescinding of the decree comes in such a way that there is nothing to stop the referendum from going ahead on Saturday -- something that is also indicated by an announcement on the part of the State Council's Administrative Court that it cannot overrule Morsi's decision and insistence on holding the referendum this Saturday because doing so would infringe on the president's sovereignty.

The Draft Constitution: The best overview of its Islamist nature is given by this Associated Press report, which notes that "the charter not only makes Muslim clerics the arbiters for many civil rights, it also could give a constitutional basis for citizens to set up Saudi-style 'religious police' to monitor morals and enforce segregation of the sexes, imposition of Islamic dress codes and even harsh punishments for adultery and theft -- regardless of what laws on the books say."...

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