Wednesday, July 3, 2013

(Opinion) Egypt: A revolution can't get behind if you are in favour of democracy

“It is easy to imagine the president from day one as walking a tightrope, on the other side is survival, or at least as far as where his state stolen funds will take him when the going gets tough, the audience watch with suspense some calling for him to fall, some, reluctantly, encouraging balance, and the military simultaneously encouraging him across while having a pair of scissors in one hand and the other threatening to shake the rope”[1]
For all the faults of the Morsi presidency from his less than democratic handling  and drafting of the new Egyptian constitution and his inability to bring stability to a country that has only known chaos for the last two years, the likely event of Morsi getting ousted by the army after it issued a threat imploring the president to either restore calm to the streets of Egypt  or face the possibility of being ousted.

Upon hearing of this threat, Morsi rightly cited the fact that he was voted for and resolved to dig ion his heels linking his political legitimacy with his mortality. While my political sentiments are naturally with the millions of Egyptians who clogged the streets of Cairo and Alexandria to express their dissatisfaction with Morsi presidency, what must not happen is the military ousting Morsi from power effectively surfing popular sentiment.

While public confidence in Morsi is low it does not legitimize the military effectively issuing threats to its executive and while the majority observing the events taking place in Egypt may like to see the country evolve into a stable and prosperous democratic state, it cannot start its evolution with military led ousting a democratically elected leader no matter how unpopular he is.  

Being president of Egypt after the revolution was always going to be tough proposition as the new president was going to negotiate a well-funded and powerful military (thanks largely to US funding who were less than cheerful about Morsi rising to power) by , a tanking a economy and draft a constitution, all of which Morsi failed spectacularly deal with effectively. If this job wasn’t tough enough, Morsi just happened to be a prominent member of one of the most hated yet well organized groups in the country, the Muslim Brotherhood which made all three tasks all the more difficult.

Now with Morsi’s rule under threat and a number of well-placed officials resigning in order to avoid the falling axe, the real question left is who might take over should the military carry out their threat (which at the time of writing, should take effect quite shortly). It would be a disaster if the military took it upon themselves to take power because they will not be any better at negotiating the three task any better than Morsi and are more likely to use deadly force should anything get out of hand. However, being the most powerful and most organized group in the country bar none, it leadership is smart enough to see that role of the president is now a role of responsibility, not power.

In sum, it would take a madman to want to run for a position when you have a troika made up of the Egyptian people, the military and outside forces that are all have more power than you yet turn to you should anything go wrong. The next man who become president should clearly address the power of the military by lobbying the US to lend it hefty purse to projects that will enhanced a burgeoning democracy rather than empowering a military that has way too much political power than any liberal or democrat is comfortable with.  Finally, Morsi was done the moment he tried to hijack the drafting and discussion over the constitution and has failed to negotiate the troika that has now sealed his impending fate.

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