By Ray Fleming

“Even if the Army takes power for now it is better than the Muslim Brotherhood. Better to go back two years and restart the revolution than to go back several hundred years with the Islamists.” That quotation from a leader of the newly-influential Tamarod movement in Egypt probably captures the feelings of a majority of Egyptians and of their many well-wishers in the world. But not of everybody. Mohamed Morsi's removal from the presidency on Wednesday was as near as could be to a military coup, regardless of how often the generals may say they acted in “the name of the people”. There were a lot of people in Cairo's streets backing Morsi and they will not have just disappeared into thin air. For that reason President Obama and Prime Minster Cameron have been right to emphasize the need for an early return to the democratic process. But will the Muslim Brotherhood's Peace and Justice party be allowed to participate in the next elections?

The “road map” priorities for the interim civil government appointed by the Army include suspension of the Islamic-backed constitution, a technocrat cabinet of ministers and planning for new elections and for national reconciliation. Also listed without explanation is a “Charter of honour for the media to follow” -- a vague but sinister suggestion of censorship which, once re-established, might be very difficult to remove.


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