Nahlah Ayed: Tahrir Square crowd cheers coup, but wary

CBC's Nahlah Ayed reports from near Tahrir Square just after the Egyptian military announced it was ousting the president, suspending the constitution and installing an interim civilian government.

Egyptian army ousts President Mohammed Morsi, installs new transitional government

Nahlah Ayed on the situation in Egypt

The National

8 years ago
Nahlah Ayed discusses the dramatic scene playing out in Egypt and what's next for the country. 7:17

CBC's Nahlah Ayed is reporting from Cairo's Tahrir Square. This is a transcript of some her live reporting immediately after the announcement by the head of the Egyptian army that President Mohammed Morsi had been ousted, the constitution had been suspended and a new transitional government was being put in place:

"You have to sort of make a distinction between, I guess, what the people had hoped for back in the revolution ... and what  actually materialized, and that's the argument that people are using for cheering for an institution, the army, that actually failed miserably to rule this country during the transitional period in 2011 and  2012.

Recalling that period, Ayed said: "As the army tried to act as policemen on the streets and were unable to contain the continued protests and certainly were not able to shepherd the political process along, and kind of were forced out in a way, and that is how [army head] General al-Sisi came around ...

"So people acknowledge that this is not ideal, that that was not their preferred mode. But when you look at the landscape here in Egypt and you look at what people have gone through for the past, since 2011, and what the possible options were, I mean I think people here always realized that if there was a vote, ever a vote in this country, the Muslim Brotherhood initially would do extremely well.

"But they were, despite the fact they have been around for 80 years, were untested politically. They had never run this country. They had visions of it. They've had  ideas of it, they've have had an  incredible organization that really has an amazing ability to mobilize, but they had never ruled this country, and, people had told me, even back then, they had no choice but to try the Muslim Brotherhood, to try the Islamists and see what kind of government they would form.

"Well, it seems as though the consensus is that people were not happy with that kind of government.

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"The key though ... to people that we spoke to today is that, yes, they are happy the army is doing this but on the other hand they were wary. They did not want another supreme council of the armed forces, which was what failed miserably before.

"They wanted a shepherd, a guide that would get a civilian government in there, that would try to get the country to a safer place in a short transitional period and that is precisely what the army has offered.