On the 21st of November, Egypt was striding onto the world stage with a bit of new goodwill capital – the props earned with helping to broker a ceasefire between the latest flare up between Israel and the Gaza Strip. As it turns out, there was just a bit more going on in Egypt apart from trying to broker a peace between warring neighbors. There was the threat, for a few hours, that dramatic happenings from the Middle East might calm down for a few hours.
As the sun rose on the 22nd, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi pivoted to domestic issues. Topping his list was a decree which effectively banned any significant type of resistance to his future decrees, laws, or decisions. The country’s top court was stripped of the power to dissolve the legislation as it tries to draw up a new constitution. With this decree, Mr. Morsi effectively crowned himself as Egypt’s new dictator, leaving the country’s opposition very little recourse in standing in his way.
With a legislative branch dominated by his party & allies, and courts nullified from challenging him, Mr. Morsi is on a path to personally shape the next phase of Egyptian politics, with potentially significant negative effects for the rights of minorities and women.