• Reports
  • November 16, 2006
  • 11 minutes read

Future of peaceful democratisation, horizons and obstacles

Labor and student elections ended up; however there were many violations that took place like arresting candidates, refusing to accept their papers as well as many other violations that recall to our minds the incidents of the legislative elections that claimed the deaths of 14 and thousands of injured people and detainees (released after elections).

All these events bring forth a question; Are there really any good intentions from the part of the Egyptian Regime to adopt a democratic life in Egypt?!!!

Is there any possible peaceful transfer for power in Egypt or the Country is passing the pangs of labor for a revolution like those at the end of the days of Shah of Iran?

This what we will try to tackle in this report

Despite the presence of a multi party system in Egypt since 1976, yet this system which is known for plurality, is restricted and appears only on formal level that restricts the political life only to be in the hands of the ruling party headed by the Egyptian President.

Egyptians live a chronic emergency that doesn’t end; this emergency is reflected in the role of security services in the social and political lives, causing panic among people especially when we know that panic is the cornerstone of tyranny, under the claim of seeking stability. The Egyptian Regime, even before the appearance of the concept of Tawreeth, seemed to be a Royal Presidency; since the president of the Republic continues to assume his post infinitely as if he is a king in addition to the fact that people has no right to choose him directly; even the political powers have no right to oust him or compete with him.
The phenomenon of a political Pharaoh has become clear regardless of the euphemistic term. Mubarak’s regime is considered the leading Republican era in terms of witnessing unprecedented sluggishness in addition to being the lowest era in terms of witnessing great political events that may give legitimacy and personality to the regime.
Although the first years of Mubarak’s era witnessed some political freedoms, but his era is ending now with a horrific autocracy that caused massive burdens over citizens instead of helping them; the legitimacy of the regime dwindled due to its failure to maintain a real economic flourish although he gambled to maintain it.

It never occurred throughout the Egyptian history that the mafia of corruption obtained such powers to the extent of hegemony. This regime clashed severely in 1990s with the Islamic jihadi movements to the extent that torture, storming houses, coercive disappearance of detainees, humiliating political opponents, holding martial courts that ordered more than 100 death sentences, became well-established codes and customs. Noteworthy, this kind of executions can be referred to as “legalized murder”, in addition thousands of political detainees who spent decades in jails without being tried up till now.

Even on the peaceful political process, there were many parties that were shut down like Al-Amal Party due to its Islamic ideologies, even liberal and leftist parties were violated; the arena became void except for fragile parties which survived only through the committee of governmental parties while powerful and famous ones were doomed to failure, like the famous and popular Muslim Brotherhood group which is deprived from legitimacy.

Although the National Party that steers the Egyptian Political life faced a massive defeat in 2000 legislative elections, no more than 30%, but it did not even want to carry out real reformation, relying only on the style of propaganda in politics as it did before in economy. It monopolized the political game and its rules in order to establish tyranny and corruption.
Also the Tawreeth farce is clear, disturbing people especially the cultured elites, but president Mubarak still insists on keeping the vice-president position an ambiguous matter as ambiguity became the main feature for the Egyptian political life.

Therefore, the issue of maintaining tyrannical regimes is no longer acceptable, as they must be changed. What these regimes heralded for among Americans and the West was- that they are the garrison of the American interests and that the substitute for them is the Islamic fundamentalists- is no longer appreciated, especially when we know that the Islamists side or those who adopt an Islamic background in Turkey and Morocco showed a high ability in dealing with the political variables with peerless responsibility and efficiency.

Now there is a change in the political game, both for the Egyptian regime and the political opposition and social movements. The indications of this change in the rules of the game include the Egyptian President’s declaration of amending article 76 of the Egyptian constitution. This amendment allows Egyptians- for the first time in their history- to choose their president directly from among several competitors; theoretically speaking, this means that someone lese can be elected president other than the one who rules Egypt; thus, there would be a circulation for power so that not to keep the country in the grip of Pharaohs only.

This is a great historic opportunity that no one has ever believed or imagined that it will happen. It was declared suddenly, giving hope to the social and political powers demanding change, so that they can take to the streets to stage demonstrations and call for civil disobedience. Kefaya Movement appeared to be the most capable of challenging; also, the Muslim Brotherhood participated as well and took to the streets to call for change after the propagation of statements from the MB chairman and his deputy, giving the impression to people that the movement is with Mubarak’s remaining in the rule. Certainly, this gave indications that the current year will witness great historic changes in the reformation process of the Egyptian political regime before starting the next presidential elections in October.

However, these changes need a real national struggle from the opposition groups represented in Kefaya Movement and Brotherhood, noteworthy, anyone observes the actions of the regime and the powers of change will  notice that they exercise what we can call “the calculated and hesitated approach towards change”; the regime is trying to hear the demands of reform and change, while  the social and political movements  haven’t made up their minds clearly yet; it seems that these powers look into the political opportunity granted to them suddenly without being capable of exploiting it in order to  achieve a qualitative shift through practicing pressure on the regime and challenge it like what Ukrainian and Kirghiz publics did.

And in order to make from the amendment of material 76 of the constitution a political opportunity in order to complete the reformation demands from the part of the social and political powers, it is persistent to sweep the streets and reach the Egyptian masses to persuade the that a new age has started and that they must participate in, because people that the possibility of change as incredible.

And what will really give the confidence to these masses is the transformation of social and political powers to be a symbol for the demands of change. Because there would be a tangible change, since change will be felt from struggle in the streets away from the closed rooms and the air-conditioned buildings regardless of costs and sacrifices because there is no movement in the world that did not pay price for demanding the change.

More than 75 million Egyptians deserves respect for their rights to participate in politics and live without Emergency laws in order to establish a state of law and freedom which will provide a peaceful circulation for power and to choose official besides ask them if they were violators.

However, today all demands for change became symbolic and are need for some one to being it into effect. He will be lucky who ever dare to change this symbol into reality in Egypt, whether being in the regime or social movements calling for change.

Although there are some who speak about the negative protest for Egyptians and about reformation from within, yet Egyptian are really changing, also there are several changes that makes reformation from outside is possible yet the most important is being aware of changes, because this will make them realize the modern changes of time and will make them abandon old-fashioned means for change, thus the Egyptian state must change as this is inevitable because it needs to be reorganized again in order to match the new social change, so let’s make this change through our hands not by others.

Experts: No hopes for change under the current regime
Dr. Abdul Monem Abul Fotouh, Top member of  MB said in an interview for Ikhwanweb that, “the future of the political life and the peaceful attainment for democracy seems to be gloomy if it is not pitch dark already under the current circumstances on the Egyptian political arena.

Abul Futuh said that the Egyptian regime claims that it is practicing the political reformation due to western pressures and not from personal conviction actually. Unfortunately, the American pressures ceased to affect especially after the success of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the rise of Hamas which means that the process of reformation in Egypt is related only to the interests of the American Administration not the interests of the Egyptians or Democracy that USA heralds for in the Arab world.

Abul Futuh calls Egyptians and all Egyptian political powers to carry out a real role in the current time especially when knowing that Egypt is on the verge of witnessing constitutional amendments that will frame the future life of Egypt, and if these popular pressures not strong enough then constitutional amendments will be like that amendment of article 76; thus dictatorship and hegemony will be established and will be in the hands of the ruling party.

In a special interview for Ikhwanweb, Dr, Diaa Rashwan the researcher at Al-Ahram Center for political studies said, “Egypt is passing a real political crisis with all implications for the word crisis, and who ever speaks about real political reformations is considered to be talking about absurdity.”
Rashwan said that the Egyptian reality proves that the future of change is moving in a blind alley, because all indications assure the continuity of the same governmental method in dealing with the issues of freedoms and the political democratic reformation, and it is incredible to wait for change coming from the same figures who rule Egypt from 25 years.
Rashwan said there are two main factors for change; determination and ability however, the Egyptian political power are contradictory in these two aspects because whoever possesses determination lacks power and vice versa.
Rashwan assured that Egyptian Political powers are before real test which is the constitutional amendments scheduled to be carried out in the current session for the Parliament, and if there is no real pressures from the political powers; “I doubt that these amendments would serve democracy and political reformation”.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Sayed Said the researcher at Al-Ahram Center for political studies said, “peaceful political change in Egypt is related to the Egyptians’ determination not that of the Egyptian regime, because the only one who holds the power of change is the Egyptian people and I do believe that Egyptians’ have determination but no power in their hands to carry out the mission of change.”
Said attributes the lack of power to the negative impacts that became established by the Egyptian political regime since the revolution of 1952 and it is not easy to extirpate such negative impacts because they accumulated in course of time.
Said calls all Egyptian political powers to be serious in their demands for change and reformations and there should be harmony and co-ordination between them, besides they should abandon the narrow partisan methods in order to maintain consensus. He added also that all political powers must devise a strategy to extirpate negativity from the reality of the Egyptian society.