Janice Stein discusses the election of Egypt’s first civilian President on Canada AM
Janice Stein sat down with Beverly Thomson, and Marcia MacMillan on Canada AM on 25 June 2012 to discuss Egypt’s First Civilian President.
Click here to watch the video at CTV.ca, or read the transcription of the interview below:
Egypt Elects First Civilian President
25 June 2012
© Copyright 2012 CTV Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Host(s): Beverly Thomson, Marcia MacMillan
Guest(s): Janice Stein, Munk School of Global Affairs
MACMILLAN: It’s the dawn of a new day in Egypt. For the first time, the country has named a democratically elected civilian president. Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood narrowly defeated Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader are Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s military council vowed to hand over power to the new president by the end of the month, but questions remain as to how much power they will be willing to give up. Janice Stein is the director of the Munk School of Global Affairs. She joins us this morning with more on this. Good morning.
JANICE STEIN (Munk School of Global Affairs): Good morning, Marcia.
MACMILLAN: An important question. Do we know what this means for Egypt?
STEIN: We really don’t. Even the Egyptians don’t, but this is one big step forward. The person who did win the election was acknowledged by the military, but Marcia, Cairo is rife this morning with rumours about deals between the Egyptian military and the Brotherhood that resulted in this. What has Morsi agreed to in order to get SCAF, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, to officially acknowledge his election?
MACMILLAN: What can you tell us about Morsi and how willing he may be to negotiate with the military or do they still control the reigns of power and will be dictating to him how this is going to happen?
STEIN: Well, the military hold most of the cards right now. What Morsi has is the capacity to bring tens of thousands of Egyptians into the streets. The Brotherhood is well organized. Morsi was not the first choice. He is a number two man in history of the brotherhood. He’s regarded as somebody who takes orders. Not very creative. His big challenge, he will have to step away from the Brotherhood now, reach out to those, the liberals, the Christian cops, the more moderate wing of the Brotherhood who ran separate candidates. Is he up to this challenge? Most people don’t think so but in the past, somebody like Sadat, who was regarded as a number two man surprised everyone.
MACMILLAN: At one point, the Brotherhood seemed like a scary choice. And yet this has happened. What does this mean, specifically, for women?
STEIN: It was interesting that Morsi went out of his way in his acceptance speech yesterday to say that he would respect the rights of women. When we look at the record though, it’s not there. He for example opposed the right of a woman to run for the presidency in Egypt. So certainly women in Egypt, who have been in the forefront of the struggle for democracy and rights, many of them are very worried.
MACMILLAN: What do you make of the response from world leaders? From what I can see, it’s been lukewarm. How is he going to deal with the United States? And what does this mean for the region? Two separate questions?
STEIN: Certainly, I think the international community, led by the United States did come down on the right side. They welcomed the fact that somebody who had won the election was actually acknowledged as president. But this struggle’s not over. In the next two weeks, he has said that he will not be sworn in except in the parliament that the military had dissolved. So we are immediately in front of a showdown in Egypt over these next few weeks. The struggle is not over. And the possibility of violence in the streets cannot be ruled out.
MACMILLAN: And what about the neighbourhood, and I mean, their countries to the, that neighbour the…
STEIN: Every which way.
MACMILLAN: Yeah. Every which way.
STEIN: Well, certainly the Iranians were congratulatory yesterday. Israel was measured in its response. I think everybody recognizes Egypt will not be playing a major role in the region. It will be consumed with its own internal politics. Let me just raise one possibility with you, Marcia. The military say they are going to write a constitution. They’re going to do it really quickly. And as soon as that constitution is in place, there will be new presidential elections. This could be one of the shortest-lived presidents in history.
MACMILLAN: How soon?
STEIN: They’re saying they can get it done in two to three weeks.
MACMILLAN: Alright, Janice Stein, thanks so much for talking to us about this, this morning.
STEIN: You’re welcome.
MACMILLAN: Appreciate it.
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