Egypt’s ‘road not taken’ could have saved Morsi | Pakistan Today

Egypt’s ‘road not taken’ could have saved Morsi

Mohamed Morsi might still be president of Egypt today if he had grasped a political deal brokered by the European Union with opposition parties in April, Egyptian politicians and Western diplomats say.
Convinced that election victories gave them a sufficient basis to rule, Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood spurned the offer to bridge the most populous Arab nation’s deep political divide. Less than three months later, the army overthrew him after mass anti-government protests.
Under a compromise crafted in months of shuttle diplomacy by EU envoy Bernardino Leon, six secular opposition parties allied in the National Salvation Front would have recognised Morsi’s legitimacy and agreed to participate in parliamentary elections they had threatened to boycott. In return, Morsi would have agreed to replace Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and five key ministers to form a technocratic national unity cabinet, sack a disputed prosecutor general and amend the election law to satisfy Egypt’s constitutional court.
The failure to clinch a deal shows the challenge facing the EU as it seeks to raise its profile in an area where the United States was long the sole power broker. But given deep antipathy to Washington on both sides of Egyptian politics, the EU may be the only “honest broker” and it is not giving up.
DEAL “CAME CLOSE”: People familiar with the talks said Saad el-Katatni, leader of the Brotherhood’s political wing, helped negotiate the deal but could not sell it to Morsi and key Brotherhood leaders. “We did our best to reach an agreement. We came very close, but in the end Morsi’s position didn’t change,” Hamdeen Sabahi, leader of the left-wing party Popular Current, told Reuters.



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