Egyptians Differ on Morsi’s Decision of Removing Tantawi from Office

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The recent controversial decisions of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi to retire and replace former head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and former Major-General Sami Anan created a debate among Egyptians.

Several revolutionary figures hailed Morsi's Sunday decisions, yet remained skeptical to their potential impact.

The debate also involved military experts and political analysts; especially because Morsi cancelled the SCAF Complementary Constitutional Declaration that used to limit his powers as President.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Talaat Mesallam, retired military general, strategic expert:
“I see that these decisions represent a constitutional coup which cancels the constitutional declaration according to which the president had been elected. The more that he has given to himself unprecedented authority without limits as he will issue the new constitutional declaration.” SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) – Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed, political analyst, Al-Ahram state-run newspaper:
“These decisions were a chance to finalize the conflict between the military authority and the civil authority for the sake of one authority which is the elected one, to run the country as well as to allow the SCAF to return back to its normal role as protector of the country’s national security. Therefore the decisions were welcomed and widely accepted by several different sectors of the Egyptian society as well as revolutionary forces.”

Morsi appointed Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as SCAF Chief and Defense Minister to replace Tantawi and Judge Mahmoud Mekki as his Vice-President.

Some Egyptians see that Morsi’s decisions were a step on the right track to restore his full powers as the legitimate elected civilian president.

Others believe that Morsi’s decisions are against the constitution and represent a step in the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to control the country.

SOUNDBITE 3 (Arabic) - Sayyed Ibrahim, employee:
“As for the decision made by President Mohamed Morsi, I see that it is a bit late too late but it is 100% right because authority cannot be divided between two institutions, the President and the SCAF, so he practiced his legitimate and natural authorities which are recognized in all countries.”

SOUNDBITE 4 (Arabic) - Mohsen Mohamed, lawyer:
“Yesterday he violated the constitution and cancelled the complementary constitutional declaration which is a contrary to his powers. It is not within the authority of the President to cancel the constitutional declaration.”

Morsi said in a speech on Sunday evening that the decisions he made were in the best interest of Egypt and that they were not intended embarrass certain individuals or institutions.

The decisions seem to be broadly welcomed by Islamist, non-Islamist and revolutionary parties.

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: August 14, 2012 (and archive)
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: August 14, 2012
Length: 0:02:57
Video Size: 145 MB
Language: Arabic
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera: VCS and Egyptian State TV

SHOTLIST:

1- Pan right, Egyptian Presidency headquarters in Cairo
2- Medium shot, President Mohamed Morsi in a press conference (archive)
3- Medium shot, Presidency logo
4- Medium shot, Morsi speaking in a press conference (archive)
5- Various shots of former SCAF Hussein Tantawi and former Chief of Staff Sami Anan shaking hands and watching a military parade (archive)
6- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Talaat Mesallam, retired military general, strategic expert:
“I see that these decisions represent a constitutional coup which cancels the constitutional declaration according to which the president had been elected. The more that he has given to himself unprecedented authorities without limits as he will issue the new constitutional declaration.” 7- SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) – Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed, political analyst, Al-Ahram state-run newspaper:
“These decisions were a chance to finalize the conflict between the military authority and the civil authority for the sake of one authority which is the elected one to run the country as well as to allow the SCAF to return back to its normal role to protect the country’s national security. Therefore the decisions had been welcomed and accepted by popularity and a lot of different sectors of the Egyptian society as well as revolutionary forces.” 8- Various shots of newly appointed Vice-President Mahmoud Mekki taking oath of office before Morsi (archive)
9- Various shots of newly appointed SCAF Chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi taking oath of office before Morsi (archive)
10- Various shots of Egyptians in the streets
11- SOUNDBITE 3 (Arabic) - Sayyed Ibrahim, employee:
“As for the decision made by President Mohamed Morsi, I see that it is a bit late too late but it is right 100% because authority cannot be divided between two institutions the President and the SCAF so, he practiced his legitimate and natural authorities which are recognized in all countries.” SOUNDBITE 4 (Arabic) - Mohsen Mohamed, lawyer:
“Yesterday he violated the constitution and cancelled the complementary constitutional declaration which is a contrary to his powers. It is not from the authorities of the President to cancel the constitutional declaration.” 12- Wide shot, the attendees at Al-Azhar University conference hall applauding for Morsi (archive)
13- Pan left, Morsi heading to the podium to deliver his speech (archive)
14- Various shots of Morsi during his speech (archive)
15- Wide overview shot, Cairo and the River Nile

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