Tug-of-War – The Regime vs the MB
Tug-of-War – The Regime vs the MB
Saturday, December 4,2010 02:45
By Staff Writer

 The 2010 elections in Egypt sent a very clear message to both the opposition and the general populace that anyone opposing the NDP will face tyranny. The opposition experienced this first hand at polling stations where security officials intimidated voters and candidates, while stuffing ballot boxes.

The question is: Did the Egyptian regime, after snuffing out the opposition, actually have a serious democratic election? Many, including civil society monitors, human rights activists and journalists will feel confused in the prevailing surrealism. Is it really possible in the 21st century that a brutal autocratic regime, which blatantly flouts the principles of democracy; the foundation of the modern world, gets away with thumbing its nose at the US , the country that wages war to impose democracy? Are we correct to call the Egyptian regime’s fraud, brutality and corruption – irregularities, thinking that by doing so we give the whole affair a sense of legitimacy?

Without even flinching, the NDP party announced that it had taken 97% of the seats contested, leaving the Muslim Brotherhood – previously the largest opposition force in parliament – with nothing! Was this a serious democratic exercise? In this circus arena in which the regime is pulling off one of its greatest hat tricks, - the 2010 elections - the Muslim Brotherhood boycotting the elections seems the very least it can do to save itself and the Egyptian people from further humiliation.
And, as the NDP now competes against itself with its frail 82-year-old president,
Hosni Mubarak, drawing to the end of a three decade-long rule, the different groups within Egypt's regime now face the volatile task of maneuvering themselves into the position of the next successor.

Seeking the role of president within the NDP has more to do with self aggrandizement than making the necessary reforms demanded by an increasingly angry population to which the MB is committed. The elections showed several features of the internal struggle to win nomination for parliamentary seats, and it looks to be the wealthy local businessmen seeking to expand their privileges, obtaining legal immunity, access to the higher echelons of the state, and significant opportunities for personal advancement.

The selfishness entrenched in the regime’s politicians becomes more and more evident as the Arab world's most populated country witnesses outbursts of labour activism, intermittent street protests and forums of dissent. The Egyptians should fully realize that with the regime wielding unchecked control over their nation, having  neutered the independent media, there will be no public avenues to express their grievances, and no viable way to affect the direction the country is going. The status quo as it is in Egypt today can not continue indefinitely. The Egyptian regime is willing to do anything to ensure its own survival. Indeed, this could well be the most challenging period of Egypt ’s modern history and the role of the Muslim Brotherhood remains as steadfast as the people who work it; determined to be the conscience of the nation.

Whistle blower, WikiLeaks, showed Mubarak as disdainful of democracy even though he has reiterated pronouncements to the contrary. At the same time, the MB bases itself on the Islamic principles of justice and equality and demands democracy to make peaceful change.

This tug-of-war continues even though it is quite unfair as on one side there is Mubarak’s NDP with the US hanging on for dear life, while on the other side there is the Muslim Brotherhood, their local supporters, their international well-wishers and a host of fence-sitters – that do not necessarily seek peaceful change – and who may emerge if the Muslim Brotherhood is totally swept out of the arena.

 

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