The New York Times
Struggling to quell street protests and political violence, President Mohamed Morsi is moving to impose a version of martial law by calling on the armed forces to keep order and authorizing soldiers to arrest civilians, Egyptian state media announced Saturday.
If Mr. Morsi goes through with the plan, it would represent a historic role reversal. Before the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year, Egypt’s military-backed authoritarian presidents had spent six decades warning against the threat of an Islamist takeover and using martial law to hold onto their power. Mr. Morsi, a former leader of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, and many of his fellow Islamists were jailed under those decrees for their opposition to the government.
A turn back to the military would come just four months after Mr. Morsi managed to pry political power out of the hands of the generals, who refused for months after his election to allow him full presidential power.
The flagship state newspaper Al Ahram reported that Mr. Morsi “will soon issue a decision for the participation of the armed forces in the duties of maintaining security and protection of vital state institutions.” The military would maintain its expanded role until the completion of a referendum on a draft constitution next Saturday and the election of a new Parliament expected two months after that.
The announcement of impending martial law marked the steepest escalation yet in the political battle between Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their secular opponents over the Islamist-backed draft constitution -- a standoff that has already threatened to derail Egypt’s promised transition to a constitutional democracy.
Calling in the army could overcome the danger of protests or violence that might disrupt the planned referendum on the constitution and the election of a new parliament to follow. But resorting to the military to secure the vote could undermine Mr. Morsi’s efforts to end the political crisis threatening his rule if it delegitimizes the new charter as an expression of national consensus and a vote of confidence in him.
Although the plan would not fully suspend the civil law, it would nonetheless have the effect of suspending legal rights by empowering soldiers under the control of the defense minister to try civilians in military courts.
There was no sign of military tanks in the streets Saturday evening, but the military appeared for now to back Mr. Morsi. Soon after the news of Mr. Morsi’s plans, a military spokesman read a statement over state television that echoed the reports of Mr. Morsi’s planned decree.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 12/08/2012
Editor's Note: How's that "pro-democracy" movement workiong out for your Progressives? As is illustrated here, Democracy is nothing less than mob rule, where the rights of the minority are not protected. That's why our revolutionary Framers established a Republic for the United States; representative government. This is another reason why the movement to dismantle the Electoral College is anti-American and why those who advocate for a pure popular vote are a threat to our form of government here in the US...
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