As Egypt marked the 60th anniversary of the 23 July 1952 revolution Monday, President Mohamed Morsy suggested that the event failed to achieve democracy.
In a speech aired by state TV late Sunday, Morsy said the July 1952 revolution represented a turning point in his country’s history, but that it failed to achieve some of its objectives, including the establishment of a democratic system.
Morsy added that the 1952 revolution had aimed to establish social justice and well-advised development, but did not accomplish other goals related to democracy and freedoms, which then failed to develop throughout subsequent regimes.
Morsy is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was frequently at odds with the new regime in the first few years after the 1952 revolution.
Morsy’s speech came on the heels of a heated debate that occurred when the April 6 Youth Movement called for the cancellation of all festivities celebrating the 1952 revolution, and said it would stage protests against the military. The military responded in a Facebook statement Sunday, calling criticism of the 1952 revolution “delusional.”
In July 1952, a military faction called the Free Officers staged a coup d’etat that toppled the monarchy and established a republic. The group included former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.
Egypt remained under the rule of presidents with military backgrounds until Morsy’s election last month.
Since the 1952 revolution, the military has controlled top government posts and gained considerable economic clout through its holdings, which include construction companies, gas stations, farms and bottling facilities. Civilian oversight of the military has been one of the demands of revolutionary groups.
“If someone wants to go out 23 July, they should ask for the end of military rule and not go out and celebrate the military junta’s revolution and the continuation of military rule,” wrote April 6 movement co-founder Ahmed Maher.