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Local expert calls coup a pivotal moment for Egyptians

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 03 2013 09:16:18 PM CDT

experts worry about stability of country

Two years after massive demonstrations forced out longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, the country finds itself right back where it started.  Turmoil in Egypt led to a military coup Wednesday, triggering widespread jubilation in the streets.

There was celebration in the streets after the announcement that Egypt's military had removed President Mohamed Morsy.  He's the country's first democratically elected leader, and the leader's supporters are furious.  Lehigh University Sociology Professor Ziad Munson says he's not so sure this was the right move for the country.

"I don't think that the coup that happened was unexpected, but at the same time it's a pivotal moment for Egyptians and Egyptian politics."

Unrest in Egypt had been growing over rampant crime and a struggling economy.  But some say getting rid of Morsy before his term is up is circumventing the democratic process.

"Over throwing a democratically elected president is not the way to handle political disagreement in a democracy," shared Munson.

Opponents say Morsy's government had become authoritarian.  But now experts worry about political stability in the country.  The head of Egypt's highest court has been named the interim president, the current constitution has been suspended, and the military is calling for new elections.

"It's difficult to sort of continue to advocate for democracy in the country when any time someone we dislike, or someone whose policies we dislike who's popularly elected we overthrow," added Munson.

Morsy is a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.  But Munson says this coup is not an ideological one, it's really a fight over competence and who can govern Egypt.

"This coup is a major setback for the Muslim Brotherhood, and I think that organization is learning that it's actually much harder to govern then it is to be a social movement organization advocating against the government from outside the government."

Morsy's removal doesn't necessarily mean the protests and violence will stop, in-fact experts say it might even get worse.