Shadi Hamid writes: Supporters of the Tamarod (“rebel”) movement are taking to streets on June 30th in what is likely to be a massive show of force. Their goals are deceptively simple — pushing President Mohamed Morsi out of power and holding early presidential elections. When asked, however, how they plan to do this, the answers acquire a certain vagueness. Egyptians have every right to call for Morsi to resign — and that right must be protected — but he is obviously under no obligation to heed their calls. So, then what?
There is no legal or constitutional mechanism through which Morsi, who was elected with 51.7 percent of the vote just a year ago, can be ousted. Realistically, there is only one way he falls – if mass violence and a total collapse of public order provoke the military to step in. In this sense, for Tamarod to “succeed,” Egypt must fail. For some in the opposition, this short-term cost — as devastating as it might be — is justified because the alternative of continued Muslim Brotherhood rule will fundamentally alter the very nature of Egypt.
Opposition figures have been flirting with the possibility of various kinds of coups against an incompetent, unpopular — though democratically elected — president. Some, like April 6th’s Tarek al-Khouli and human rights activist Dalia Ziada, have explicitly called for military intervention. Others, like Mohamed ElBaradei and Ahmed el-Borai have taken to issuing what the journalist Evan Hill calls “non-request requests” for the army to step in. Still others, including leaders of Tamarod, have called for the judiciary to intervene and “annul” Morsi’s presidency. [Continue reading…]