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Jakarta Post

Commentary: Need to suspend democracy? There better be good reasons for it

  • M. Taufiqurrahman

    Deputy chief editor of The Jakarta Post

  /   Thu, February 20 2020   /  12:25 am

When presidents make the consequential decision to suspend democracy, they usually do so at a critical juncture in history and with a grand purpose in mind. Would-be autocrats need to have a perfectly plausible excuse for why such a drastic decision is needed.When Egyptian military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi decided in 2013 to temporarily suspend the constitution, it was a response to political chaos and division created by president Mohamed Morsi’s administration. But el Sisi’s primary argument was to suppress the rise of Islamism in Egypt as represented by Morsi and his political vehicle the Muslim Brotherhood. Within months of the el-Sisi-led coup, the Egyptian military took steps to undermine the Islamist organization — banning it in September 2013 and declaring it a terrorist organization in December. Post 9/11, the war on terrorism has been used as justification when po...