Democratic Impeachment of a Democratically Elected President


It is surely unpalatable for anyone in Europe or the United States to overthrow a democratically elected president; this is not how democracy works. If people choose wrongly, they should stick to the ballots, the constitution and wait for the four years and choose different next time. This is the only way to have a functional democracy; otherwise the next elected president will also be overthrown in the same way.  This will never create a sustainable democracy, and turbulence will continue.

The above view is surely very sound, but it comes from a context where every other aspect of democracy and freedoms are taken for granted and presidents work within the boundaries of the constitution and abide by the law. This is not the case in today’s Egypt, and not the case with Morsi.

Since Morsi came to power, he has repeatedly violated the boundaries of the constitution, overstepped laws, worked together with the constitutional committee and the parliament on curbing freedoms with one goal in mind: tightening the grip of the Muslim Brothers on every state institution. That is surely not democratic.

Egyptians learnt from the history of Europe and the United States and we learnt it quickly. When a president like Nixon broke the law, he had to be impeached and that was to protect the foundation of democracy. When a democratically elected head of state like Hitler or Mussolini turned on democracy and established dictatorships, their people – and in this case the whole world – suffered immensely.

That is why today when Morsi and the Muslim Brothers work round the clock to establish a totalitarian regime using the tools of democracy based on elections – which took place in a turbulent context in the midst of a revolution – five Egyptian youth began a peaceful movement to impeach Morsi, by collecting signatures from people requesting early presidential elections and calling upon the Egyptians to demonstrate peacefully on June 30th to demand that, with over 22 million signatures collected.

Just like one must never support the liberty of taking away liberties, one must stand against blighting pillars of democracy through democratic processes. In the Egyptian context and after years of dictatorship, where democracy and freedoms are not guaranteed, when a president repeatedly breaks the law and oversteps the constitution without any institution being able to bring him to justice, impeaching even a democratically elected president is the only way to protect democracy, and is the most democratic act. Egyptians will not stand by and watch the founding of a theocratic totalitarian dictatorship after bringing down a military dictatorship.


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