Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Egypt: Analysts Debate Success of Egypt's Military Intervention

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Temporary measures

Sadek says the government's increased powers to detain and arrest are temporary, and may well change when, in his view, the Brotherhood is defeated.

"We are in exceptional circumstances," he says, "and you must take lots of measures. Our neighboring countries are failing states and now there's an internal organization that wants to destroy our army and police to exert whatever [power] they like thru their secret militias ... there are no human rights for those who don't believe in human rights."

Political maneuvering

Recently, Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour, suggested that the presidential elections come before those for the legislature.

Soltan says it's a good idea, because parliamentary campaigns can be divisive, and the pressure of electoral competition could fragment the broad coalition of parties that support the military-led roadmap to democracy. He sees an elected president lending stability in the lead-up to the parliamentary polls.

Others are more critical of the military-led transition.

Na'eem Jeenah, the executive director of the Afro-Middle East Center in Johannesburg, sees political manipulation behind the choice of election dates.

"You [could] have the election of a strong president who would be able to dictate the time table and the rules for how the parliamentary elections take place," he said. "[Head of the armed forces, General Adbul Fattal] al Sisi [may] stand for president, and he [would] be the kind of strongman president which the continent has been suffering under for decades."

Jeenah says the current crackdown does not just affect the Islamists but anyone who disagrees with the military -led ouster of former President Morsi. He says the stand-off is not between Islamists and secularists, but between those for and against the military-led intervention.

He says among those imprisoned by what he calls draconian anti-terror laws are secular activists, and journalists. He says the laws are meant to silence critics prior to the referendum on the new constitution.

Media bias

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