Egypt’s former justice minister, Counsellor Ahmed Mekky, has claimed that handing over power to Mohammed Morsi in January 2012 was “just for show” and that there was a “premeditated intent” to make his government fail. The proof, said Mekky, is the fact that people were storming the palace and went unpunished.
He added that it was the Ministry of Defence who advised President Morsi to declare a state of emergency in the Suez Canal cities after the second Port Said massacre in order to end the bloodshed and violence, as it is a sensitive district.
Moreover, Mekky pointed out that the Armed Forces played no role in preserving security and law and order in the country during Morsi’s time in office. General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi was a member of the Morsi government while there was violence and protesters holding up traffic in Tahrir Square. “This was on the agenda of every Council of Ministers’ meeting he attended and his words were taken seriously,” said the ex-minister. “We asked him what we should do to disperse the protesters.” In response Al-Sisi always maintained that “the army cannot take to the streets, as its rule last year harmed it; Egypt is surrounded by threats and the army should focus on its primary duties.”
“The Minister of the Interior,” added Mekky, “told the Ministerial Council that he had no forces and claimed that he did not have the ability to deal with the protesters.”
Counsellor Mekky stressed that what happened on June 30th was definitely a military coup, as the people’s demands did not include detaining the president and replacing him, they called for early presidential elections. “One elected president was to be replaced by another elected president. I wanted President Morsi to remain in office until new presidential elections were held.”
The role of the Republican Guard was challenged by Mekky. “For a year the president had no authority and the Republican Guard, which is charged with protecting him, stood by and did nothing to stop those who attacked the presidential palace.” The president’s guards turned into his jailers and all last year Morsi was basically imprisoned in the palace. “We actually had a president who was a prisoner of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF] and anything said contrary to this is worth discussing.”
Noting that the former Minister of Defence, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, was isolated by SCAF, not Morsi, Counsellor Mekky pointed out that when Tantawi was told that the state was being handed over to the Muslim Brotherhood, he replied, “We handed the Muslim Brotherhood over to the state.” This, he added, suggests there was an intention to prove President Morsi’s failure and to overthrow him.
“The entire deep state was against the Muslim Brotherhood, starting from the media, to the judiciary and the Judges’ Club. Even the civilian employees used to cut off the electricity and cause gas crises.”
According to the ex-justice minister, “Egypt can only be ruled by the Armed Forces or the Muslim Brotherhood. The army as an institution can remain as a power, but it is dangerous for it to govern.” He advised Al-Sisi to be careful about the army’s direct rule. “The Armed Forces are ruling Egypt today, not the president or prime minister,” he warned, “and what is happening now may not only lead to the fragmentation of the state, but also to the fragmentation to the army.”