The Daily Beast once called him the man that would succeed Mubarak.
Now, Amr Moussa, the 74-year-old former head of the Arab League, is on the leading edge of the push to oust Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi.
During last year’s elections, Moussa came in fifth, likely seen as too close to departed president Hosni Mubarak, in whose government he served as foreign minister.
Instead, the people chose Morsi, who garnered nearly 52% of the vote. Gamel Nasser, Anwar Sadat , and Hosni Mubarak had pushed the Muslim Brotherhood into the shadows for more than 50 years. In the 2012 elections, they finally got the chance to rule.
These days, Moussa is a leader in Egypt’s biggest opposition group, the National Salvation Front. He lends the organisation a seasoned political voice and a tremendous amount of legitimacy and political clout.
Before the planned demonstrations began, he urged the protesters to stay nonviolent, saying that if they remained peaceful “you shall prevail.” On Tuesday the group announced that it “would not support a military coup.”
In early June, well ahead of the planned June 30 protests that marked Morsi’s first year in office, Moussa sat down with leaders from the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, which holds more than half of the seats in the legislature and of which Morsi is a part. He told them that the government needed to be more responsive to the needs of the people.
He reportedly said before the protests that June 30 would be the Muslim Brotherhood’s last day.
And now, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s offices ransacked, millions protesting in the streets, the military threatening to intervene in governance, Max Fisher at the Washington Post did a report on a joke that a Moussa spokesman likes to tell:
“Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak all tried to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood,” the joke goes, “only Morsi succeeded.”
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