Archive for June 21st, 2012

21/06/2012

The ‘Future We Want’, Nowhere to Be Found in Rio+20

 Human Wrongs Watch

By Kumi Naidoo (Greenpeace*)  – The Future we Want is nowhere to be found in the already agreed Rio+20 outcome text, which world leaders are now rubber stamping and Greenwashing. The spin cycle has begun. At the same time some 20,000 people marched on the streets of Rio in protest with an air of despair but clinging to hope.

**Photo: Greenpeace

Host President Dilma Rousseff’s rhetoric could not be further from the reality of the tragic missed opportunity of the weak deal being agreed in Rio. Her grand sounding adjectives describing the result as involving “courage, ambition, responsibility and urgency” are totally dissonant with the lack of commitment, targets and cash put on the table here.

The two summits on sustainable development happening in Rio right now could not be more different. The Peoples’ Summit is buzzing with hope and solutions while 40km across town, the Rio+20 Summit was damp with despair and problems.

In the tented Peoples’ Summit ideas and opportunities are being shared about how to address the crises of environment, equity and ecology.

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21/06/2012

Egyptian Military Threatens Crackdown Over Presidential Elections

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier (WSWS*), 21 June 2012 – Egyptian military sources signaled plans for a crackdown against popular opposition to army rule yesterday evening, amid an escalating dispute over the outcome of this weekend’s presidential elections.

Field Marshal Tantawi, Military Junta Chief. Photo: Helene C. Stikkel | Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) announced they would delay the announcement of the election result, previously planned for today, until the weekend.

This came after a group of judges monitoring the elections, the Judges of Egypt, issued a statement unofficially declaring Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidate Mohamed Mursi the winner.

At a press conference held at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, the judges announced that Mursi won the elections with 13, 238,335 votes, against 12,351,310 for Ahmed Shafiq—the last prime minister under ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was the army’s preferred candidate.

Yesterday night an anonymous military source told the state-owned daily Al Ahram that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) junta was determined to block Mursi from taking office: “The military council is determined not to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to seize power. It will not relinquish the reins of power until a new constitution is issued, and the arena is set for a balanced political process.”

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21/06/2012

Egyptians Return to Tahrir Square to Protest Military Power Grab

Human Wrongs Watch

By *

Cairo, 20 June, 2012 – Hundreds of thousands of activists returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Monday night to protest supplementary constitutional amendments issued by the ruling military council in recent days.

**Image: Jonathan Rashad | Wikimedia Commons.

The amendments grant the military sweeping legislative and budgetary powers while limiting the powers of the country’s next president. Critics argue that the surprise amendments — announced as votes in the presidential run off were being counted — are a last-ditch effort by the military to retain power beyond the handover to civilian rule on 1 July.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has denied the charge, insisting it will hand over to the newly elected president on the scheduled date as promised.

The newly introduced amendments include re-imposition of martial law allowing military police to arrest civilians “to enforce order”.

Shielding the military from accountability, they also grant the SCAF the right to form a panel to draft the constitution should the constituent assembly recently elected by parliament fail to complete its work. The military council would also have control over the drafting of the new constitution with the right to object to any article.

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