The PJ Tatler

Egyptian Opposition Activist: 'Democracy Is Not Just the Ballot Box'

An Egyptian opposition leader brushed off arguments that Mohamed Morsi should be allowed to stay because he won a vote as “Hitler was also democratically elected.”

“I think President Obama’s making another mistake where he’s delaying what he should be actually doing. He should be calling on President Morsi to respect the will of the people and to step down peacefully and to pull his supporters that have been trying to terrorize protesters, peaceful protesters from the streets and to just yield to the will of the people,” Michael Meunier, a dual citizen of Egypt and the United States and the head of Egypt’s Al-Haya political party, said on Fox today.

“We’ve seen millions and millions of people since the 30th going on the streets asking for his resignation. This is the only thing that at this stage anybody would accept. Nobody from the opposition or the military or anyone else can actually accept anything other than what those millions that went out on the streets and are still on the street as we speak are asking for,” he added.

Morsi’s government has reportedly refused a power-sharing “road map” from the military that would dissolve parliament and force the Muslim Brotherhood to govern with minority and opposition parties.

“Democracy is not just the ballot box. It’s a process. And since the president took office, he completely — the first thing he did was he issued a constitutional decree putting himself — appointing himself effectively king of Egypt. He had all the powers. He hired the general prosecutor that belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. He start hiring ministers and cabinets that belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. We even put a terrorist in a governor position. That guy had been already convicted of killing foreign tourists that came to Egypt. And he put him in one of the cities that actually thrives on tourism,” Meunier continued

Egypt’s tourism minister, Hisham Zaazou, quit last month over the controversial appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat, a member of Gamaa Islamiya, as governor of Luxor. Gamaa Islamiya was behind the massacre of 58 tourists in Luxor in 1997. The appointment also sparked protests in the governorate.

“So the president has failed. The fact that he’s democratically elected does not mean that he did not make mistakes, and he could not be removed by the people,” Meunier said. “That’s the point. It’s useless because Hitler was democratically elected.”

The ideal Egypt is one for all Egyptians, he said.

“Minorities, Christians, women. What Morsi did and the reason everyone’s on the street, he forced a constitution on everybody that no one liked, a constitution that’s turning Egypt into an Islamic state. The majority of Egyptians are Muslims and the majority of those Muslims do not like that constitution, so the best process and the first process to rebuild is to actually draft a new constitution.  We can take a little bit of time to have a constitution that is worthy of this revolution, this great nation has put a lot of time and effort, everybody, in the past two years to make sure that we have democracy, we have religious freedom, we have — we have respect of the law, none of this stuff was happening under this president.”

Under that Muslim Brotherhood ramrodded constitution, Meunier can’t run for president because he’s Christian.

“We want to see a second tier, people in their 40s leading this country. Egypt is a country that has stars all over the world. Most Egyptians that emigrated to the outside world have been extremely successful,” he said. “…So what we want to do is we want to make sure those people can come back to Egypt and can rebuild Egypt.”