The Status Quo:
The Islamist Nour Party has rejected candidates for interim Egyptian Prime Minister, pushing the deadlock into a third day amid huge protests that have turned violent.
While the Nour Party supported the army’s political road map for transition, they have rejected two proposed candidates for the position of interim Prime Minister prolonging the political instability.
At least 35 people were killed in violence across Egypt on Friday and Saturday as conflict between pro- and anti- Mursi demonstrators heated up.
Thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have camped out in northeast Cairo refusing to move until Mursi is restored to power.
Hundreds of thousands of Mursi’s opponents remain in Tahrir Square where a carnival type atmosphere has taken hold.
The Quo Vadimus:
Perceptions may be misleading. The world is focused on politics while the streets have dead bodies. The world (and Egypt) is convinced the Islamists are gone, yet they have held up a new government being named for days. Everyone is hoping this is an era of openness, yet the military run government is raiding Al Jazeera. Perceptions of movement forward are misleading, as Egypt is still in the heart of this crisis.
The Weekend Violence
Over 30 people died this past weekend in the bloodiest violence since the fall of Mubarak.
This tragedy has been overshadowed by coverage of the political machinations going on behind closed doors. To ignore the death toll is a huge mistake. To focus only on the atmosphere in Tahrir is a mistake.
The battle lines are easy to understand right now: pro Mursi vs anti Mursi. This may not last. If the young protesters who feel they brought down Mubarak and were then ignored by Mursi feel they are left out again, or the Islamist al-Nour backers feel left out in the new government, the battle lines could fracture into worse violence.
The ElBaradei Conundrum
I wrote last week that ElBaradei was one of the winners in the fall of Mursi. He is internationally respected and has managed to connect himself to the young protesters in Egypt.
The friday announcement that he would be interim Prime Minister seemed an obvious next step after he spoke at the Military’s announcement kicking out Mursi.
What everyone seemed to forget was the Islamists. Islamist Al Nour has played an under credited role in the fall of Mursi. It can be argued that their destruction of the Islamist unity behind Mursi by switching to the opposition cleared the way for his fall.
While the world may not be paying attention, it seems the Egyptian military is paying attention. Their negotiations with Al Nour over the Prime Minister may seem belabored by outsiders, but it will be crucial in keeping any hope of unity for the interim government.
Al Nour does not want ElBaradei. Whether this is politicking to show their influence or a true dislike of his policies isn’t really important.
The fact is ElBaradei may have lost his one chance at leadership, because al Nour doesn’t want him.. The young protesters do want him. The military has moved on to relatively unknown Ziaad Bahaa el-Din.
Ziaad Bahaa el-Din
The former head of Egypt’s investment authority under Mubarak brings the right economic credentials to the table (except failing to solve problems adequately previously, but that wasn’t totally his fault).
His political ties to Mubarak will be tough to swallow for the protesters on the street.
The possible compromise of ElBaradei as Deputy Prime Minister, sounds like a good idea but may undermine his authority.
His position as a compromise candidate from the Islamists, will raise concerns about his social agenda, but could also be the political deal needed to keep a sense of unity.
We should hope the weekend’s violence will be the high point in death toll but there is little evidence this is true.
The young protesters (labeled by some as: “Tamarod” or arabic for Rebel), are saying they won’t accept anyone but ElBaradei. The dream of him being Prime Minister seems to have passed. If they can’t handle another political loss, the jubilation they are filling the streets with could turn to even more violence.
In short: more violence is coming, the Islamists still have a major bloc of power, and the new leaders are already bogged down in politics.
This article has been put together with reporting (The Status Quo) by Emily Hennessy, EmilyHennessy@QuoVadimusNews.com, @EmilyHennessy and the views of (The Quo Vadimus) of Brandon Blackburn-Dwyer, BrandonBD@QuoVadimusNews.Com, @Brandon_BD (On Twitter and Weibo).