“I SWEAR BY GOD ALMIGHTY TO PRESERVE THE REPUBLICAN SYSTEM,TO RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LAW,TO FULLY LOOK AFTER THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE AND TO PRESERVE THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE NATION AND ITS LANDS”
This is a literal translation of the oath by the President, which Morsi swore three times when he took office. Let us see how he kept that oath.
The first act that gave a preview of how things will be, was when he balked at being sworn in by the Supreme Court. Already there was bad blood between the Brotherhood and the Supreme Court when the latter dissolved Parliament, as its electoral law was deemed unconstitutional. He tried everything to get out of the swearing in by the Supreme Court, but to no avail. So to dilute the effect he swore his oath of allegiance several more times of which one was in Tahrir Square in front of all his supporters, and another at a gathering of all political, economic and social prominent figures at the Cairo university auditorium.
The first hint of a jinx came when he stood up to start his oath before the Supreme Court and the power failed. Pitch dark. Total shock. Complete silence. Then two heartbeats later, the generator kicked in, but not before many a superstitious Egyptian got the impression that this man is a bad omen. This trend will continue to develop and the jokes made on this theme are legion. One being that the eagle on the flag will be replaced by an owl, which in Egyptian culture is a harbinger of bad luck.
One of his first acts, again, was very indicative of how he intend to carry on. Although he swore publicly, several times, to uphold the constitution and uphold the law as well as defend the country its people and its borders, yet the first act was unconstitutional. He tried to bring back the legally dissolved Parliament, going against a ruling by the Supreme Court. One week after being sworn in, on July 8, 2012, Morsi issued a decree to reconvene the dissolved Parliament. Naturally, this caused an uproar, not only in legislative circles, and especially with the Supreme Court, but also with the general public that had been relieved by the dissolution of an entity which they saw as part farcical, part tragic in the behavioral antics of its members, and the shallowness and regression of the proposed legislation.
Bad luck and bad decisions ran parallel, neck to neck. There were so many accidents that resulted in so many deaths, that his reputation as a jinx was fully established. One of the worst was the death of over fifty school children in a horrible accident where a train hit and dragged their school bus for half a kilometer killing all but two on board. This was in Upper Egypt, where poverty and ignorance prevail. Feelings ran so high Morsi could not even go there for the obligatory condolences. He sent his Prime Minister, who was booed and chased out of town. This was very early in his administration. His supporters kept harping on giving him a chance to prove his metal. He even gave one of his to-become-famous rambling speeches where he asked for a grace period of 100 days in which he would accomplish five things which included the return of security to the streets and the getting rid of the trash that had piled up all over Egypt.
He was given the 100 days grace period, but nothing promised was done. He was too busy planning and plotting how to take over all key positions by the MB. The Government was announced with the majority MB, a large number of Governors were exchanged by new MB Governors, who started each in his area to replace all the leaders in all departments with members of the MB.
The economy was deteriorating fast, and the Government was scrambling to get the IMF to approve a loan that would open many a different door to the floundering economy. Nothing seemed to work and the people were starting to feel the pinch. So many a group of people felt disgruntled and alienated that all the campaign promises were forgotten and the welfare of the people was nowhere as a priority despite lip service to the contrary.
When the infrastructure began breaking down, the Prime Minister came out with some very provocative statements for which he was cruelly punished by the peoples’ wicked sense of humor. When in the middle of horrendous heat waves during summer there were long power cuts, he gave people advice about how to overcome the heat, by wearing cotton underwear and gathering all in one room so as not to use more than one air conditioner. He was so oblivious of the majority of the people not being able to afford cotton underwear, let alone air conditioners. Thus the jokes.
To be continued … Part 2