Entries in Coup (4)


Egyptian 'Coup' Dissolves Parliament

Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq attends a press conference in Cairo. (AFP/GettyImages)(CAIRO) -- In the final days before this weekend's landmark presidential run-off election, Thursday brought a pair of decisions that threw Egypt's fledgling democracy into doubt.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that one third of the Muslim Brotherhood-led Parliament must be immediately dissolved. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the country's ruling military, quickly declared full legislative authority, saying that if a portion of the parliament was unconstitutional, that rendered the entire parliament unconstitutional.

"We saw a coup in Egypt today," said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha center. "It was an all out power grab. The regime's apparatus is going into full force. And so far, it's a remarkable and successful coup."

In the second ruling, the Mubarak-appointed judges voted that Ahmed Shafiq, Egypt's former interim prime minister during the revolution, will be allowed to remain on the ballot in the run-off election against the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Morsi, scheduled for June 16 and 17.

"All this equals a complete coup d'etat through which the military council is writing off the most noble stage in the nation's history," Mohamed el-Beltagy, a senior member of Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, wrote on his Facebook wall. "This is the Egypt which Shafiq and the military council desire."

Shortly after the rulings were handed down, Shafiq gave a press conference that looked and sounded much like a victory speech. Shafiq told a cheering crowd, "The age of settling accounts is over and gone. The age of using the law and the country's institutions against any individual is over."

In his speech, Shafiq, a close friend of Mubarak's, described a modern, free Egypt where every individual has a vote, promising landmark reforms. "We love you, President Shafiq," the crowd chanted in response.

But former International Atomic Energy Agency chief, Mohamed El Baradei warned that Egypt is entering a dangerous phase.

"Electing a president without having a constitution or parliament means electing a president with absolute power," el-Baradei said.

After the recent parliament elections, the Muslim Brotherhood stands to lose the most from today's rulings, and many wondered whether Morsi would still run this weekend or whether the Muslim Brotherhood would pull out in protest.

The Council on Foreign Relations' Steven Cook described two camps arising out of today's decisions: "Those [Muslim Brotherhood members] that believe Egypt is still within their grasp, and those [Muslim Brotherhood members] that are more reluctant to continue the fight, reluctant to run at all."

But former presidential candidate Abul Fotoh said Egyptians were up for the fight.

"Keeping the military candidate (in the race) and overturning the elected parliament after granting the military police the right to arrest is a complete coup and whoever thinks that millions of youth will let it pass is deluding themselves," Fotoh said in a statement.

Michael Hanna, fellow at the Century Foundation, isn't sure young revolutionaries will be as eager as last year.

"There is still a huge gulf of mistrust between the Muslim Brotherhood and the revolutionaries which presents a real stumbling block," he said. Whether people take their outrage to the voting booths, or to the street is yet to be seen.

Today's rulings come on the heels of a Justice Ministry decree on Wednesday that granted the military council authority to arrest civilians. The legal combination leaves SCAF squarely at the helm for the foreseeable future. And if Shafiq wins, many argue that it will effectively set the clock back to February 2011.

"With no parliament, and no constitution, [the military] will be governing the country," said Hamid. "SCAF has outmaneuvered everyone, and it has been masterful."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


ECOWAS Threatens Sanctions against Mali if Coup Persists

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BAMAKO, Mali) -- After an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation was turned away from Mali by coup supporters on Thursday, the western bloc organization warned against sanctions on the nation.

Capt. Amadou Sanogo seized power of the West African nation on March 21 in protest against lack of equipment and weapons for soldiers to fight Tuareg rebels in the north of the country.

The ECOWAS delegates included Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara – also leader of ECOWAS; Benin President Boni Yayi; Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Burkina Faso President Blaise Campaore and Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Sanogo responded to the 72-hour sanction deadline threat on Friday by reiterating his plans to hold elections soon though he did not specify a date. The regional bloc says it will close Mali’s borders and freeze their bank accounts if power is not returned to civilians. Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure is reportedly safe though his location is unknown.

ECOWAS will meet a junta delegation on Saturday in neighboring Burkina Faso, reports BBC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mali Coup Leader Has No Intention to Stay in Power

Thinkstock(BAMAKO, Mali) -- The leader of the Malian coup says his primary intention is for the army to secure the country.

Low ranking members of the army staged a military coup on Wednesday after a senior government official was visiting them.  Capt. Amadou Sanogo , the leader of the mutineers, says he does not intend to stay in power but wants secure the country as the army has been fighting Tuareg rebels in the north of the country, reports BBC News.

The soldier says they are ill-equipped to fight the rebels who have apparently been receiving armaments from former Malian combatants who fought in Libya last year.

"We are not here to confiscate any power but we are here to have an army and security forces available to assume the national security," Capt. Sanogo.

President Amadou Toumani Toure is apparently safe and in hiding.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Truth for Justice: Investigating the Honduras Coup

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Members of Honduras’ Truth Commission were in Washington on Thursday to provide details into their investigations of the country's 2009 coup, and press the U.S. government for further information.

The motto of the organization is "sin verdad, no hay justicia” -- which means: "without truth, there is no justice."

Honduras’ president Manuel Zelaya was removed from office in 2009 and has been living in exile in the Dominican Republic.

The commission, working with investigative journalists and the Center for Constitutional Rights, has submitted 300 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests in the U.S. related to the coup in search of government documents that can shed light on the government overthrow.

They have also brought court action against the Department of Defense and the CIA for failure to divulge truthful documents. Commission members say that litigation has resulted in the release of 287 documents in addition to those already received directly from the FOI request.

Analysis of these and other documents have allowed the commission to investigate the coup and the roles played by governmental and private, military, and civil forces in Honduras and U.S., according to commission member Craig Scott, Professor of Law at York University.

“It’s a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle,” Scott said.

The Truth Commission’s members say that they, along with former President Zelaya, have been receiving threats while they have conducted these investigations. Scott said the commission members and Zelaya have been targets of dozens of incidents of surveillance, intimidation, harassment, and threats. He listed specific examples of members who were kidnapped, beaten, or shot at to prove the severity of the attacks.

Last Spring Zelaya told reporters he won't return to Honduras for fear of being killed.

Zelaya said he believes he is in danger because "there are people who want to liquidate me and are still alive, and they have great power."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio