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Cabinet reshuffle: Bad News

It was quite surprising to sense optimism in some people’s voices when they received news on the cabinet reshuffle, disrespectfully announced in a tweet by Morsi. All the signs indicate an even worse government taking over. First of all the prime minister remains, which means that inadequacy will continue to be the main characteristic of the new cabinet. For …

Managing editor Rana Allam
Rana Allam

It was quite surprising to sense optimism in some people’s voices when they received news on the cabinet reshuffle, disrespectfully announced in a tweet by Morsi. All the signs indicate an even worse government taking over.

First of all the prime minister remains, which means that inadequacy will continue to be the main characteristic of the new cabinet. For what do you expect when the boss stays the same? Keeping Qandil simply means keeping with his policies and mode of governance, which have proved a failure for months. Morsi’s insistence on the most inefficient prime minister in recent history to head the government is a mystery to most of us.

Is it denial of his failure? Probably, as we all know, our president suffers from major denial issues. Listening to his latest interview on Al Jazeera says a lot about that. When asked why he insists on Qandil, his reply was a ten minute monologue talking about Egypt’s treasures. Deflection much? Or does he think Qandil is a national treasure?

In any case, the reason behind the reshuffle is not the failure of the government to run the country. The reason is apparent in the Conscience Front’s statement demanding the change. The Front, which is comprised mostly of leading Muslim Brotherhood figures, issued a statement a week ago  accusing the ministers of justice and information of being unable to “address threats to their respective institutions”, stating those ministries currently face threats of a “counter-revolution”. Using the exact same language, Al-Wasat, another Islamist party headed by an ex-Muslim Brother, called on Morsi to “cleanse” state institutions. Along with last Friday’s Muslim Brotherhood protests also calling for “cleansing of state institutions”, the picture is clear.

“Cleansing” is the keyword. They are having major issues implementing their “tamkeen” plan. That plan which entails the “Brotherhoodisation” of the country’s institutions. This is the only way the Muslim Brotherhood can enforce their ideologies, their laws, and their power over us.

In an interview earlier this month with Mahdy Akef, the former guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, he said bluntly and without shame that they intend to replace 3,000 judges with loyalists to the Brotherhood. It seems Mekki was unable to do so. Akef also criticised the Brotherhood’s media and how it fails to face up to the opposition media.

In another disappointment for the Muslim Brotherhood, all the measures they took – their protests and siege at the media production city, as well as the lawsuits filed against media figures and the mass arrests of journalists- were not enough to curb the growing outspoken opposition of Morsi’s rule and the mounting criticism of his Brotherhood. The minister of information, who recently became a figure of harassment after his shameful discourse with female journalists, is unable to handle this.

Worth mentioning is that Morsi has several times boasted of the new era of freedom of speech in Egypt. To be completely honest, only a handful of media figures (including TV hosts and journalists and writers) did speak up against Mubarak. The widely adopted behaviour was to not mention Mubarak or his family at all. The opposition media was free to criticise the government or the ministers, but no one really dared criticise Mubarak himself on newspaper pages or TV talk shows. Except for very few people, and none of them belonged to the Brotherhood, who actually refused to chant against Mubarak in all the protests during his rule. That is the truth.

However, Egyptians revolted against this. We revolted against oppression, and we demanded to speak. We succeeded in ousting the dictator who silenced us and we decided not to accept this any longer. It is as a consequence of the revolution that we snatched our right to democracy and freedom of speech. No one can take it away. Our president and his cabinet and councils and guidance bureau are trying so very hard to go back to those days when we were silent. They target journalists and bloggers and activists, with such charges as “insulting the president” or “attempting to overthrow the regime”.

The current minister of information is not doing such a good job of silencing the media, even with the support he gets from his Brotherhood friends in state institutions, even with the ongoing Islamist protests at the media city. The Brothers need a stronger man for the job; someone who would find some way to shut us all down, or throw us behind bars.

The Brotherhood cannot stand it anymore; the judiciary is not playing along with them, neither is the media. How will they be able to move forward with their Brotherhoodisation project with all that resistance from within state institutions? They need the reshuffle.

Whatever ministers they choose will be puppets for the Brotherhood guidance bureau. Their target is to fulfill the Brotherhood’s plan for us, not the interest of the people and not the development of the country. But simply, the absolute power of the Brotherhood over Egypt.

Despite national and international calls to bring together a government of efficient technocrats from various political groups, the presidency insists on political and executive isolation of half the voting bloc (and we are not counting those who boycotted the elections). Despite the fact that the Brothers have so far failed in almost all their endeavours to manage Egypt, the presidency still insists on them. Without any consideration for the country, its economy and its people, the Brotherhood are moving along with their plan. The plan that seems to begin with and end with having the Brothers rule…and nothing else.

Consider this: the only groups to meet the president for the reshuffle were the Conscience Front and the Al-Wasat Party. No one else was consulted, the opposition is probably reading the news about it, much like us, and even the Salafis complained that they were not included on the consultation. It is a Brotherhood-exclusive plan to “cleanse state institutions” from non-Brotherhood loyalists.

Brace yourselves, for the worst is yet to come!


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  • Reda Sobky

    Thank you for an excellent summary. It is refreshing to see that there is a substantial audience wishing to see through the make believe world of Egyptian governance. If you act like it is not happening, it must not be happening, insist on denial whatever the evidence, repeat meaningless statements of optimism and self congratulation while threatening competitors and suppressing them. This is the propaganda blueprint of oppressive power structures, thank you for helping to expose it.

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