Mahmoud Ghozlan: Egypt One Year After the Revolution, What Have We Achieved?
|Saturday, January 21,2012 18:25|
|By Mahmoud Ghozlan|
Revolutions are infrequent events in the history of nations. Nevertheless, they are big events in their effects. They often turn the tide in whole countries, radically changing governments, destroying old corrupt systems and establishing new good ones. For that, peoples pay a high price, their blood and souls, as well as material damages and losses, because old rulers and regimes do not go out easily, but must be taken off forcibly.
Since revolutions are massive events, with attendant changes extending to all aspects of life, uprooting decaying and decadent old ways, they invariably take time to achieve their objectives. That time is always fraught with turmoil, anxiety and trepidation, along with hopes, wishes and dreams.
Invariably, attempts are made to abort revolutions, by old regime followers and affiliates who lose their privileges, by those who feel their interests are threatened by the revolution or are afraid their infamous files would be opened, and by agents of foreign countries that fear a coup against their policies and rebellion by their subordinates. Hence, strife, unrest, clashes and losses often occur.
Revolutions are also vulnerable to the ambitions of political pirates and hijackers, who want to change the course and the destination of revolutions and steer them towards whatever they want, to grab benefits they seek, to replace deposed rulers, or to obtain concessions for their own sects or factions, all without the slightest regard for the will of the people and the national interests and imperatives of the homeland.
Therefore, rumors abound as well as negative media campaigns, contrived conflicts and battles, exaggerated reactions, disturbances and situations that aim to keep the anxiety, chaos and confusion as long as possible, as certain former regime figures fear for their own private interests from democracy, stability, sovereignty of the people and the completion of the constitutional institutions.
This is why we find certain people deny that our glorious January 25 revolution has achieved anything so far, and we find – at the same time – others claiming the opposite. The fact is that we are still in the middle of the road. Major goals have been achieved, without a doubt. Other vital goals remain as yet unfulfilled. I therefore thought I should list both, so people know the truth of the situation, commit their resolve and direct their energies and sincere efforts to completing what has not been achieved until now.
First, what has been achieved over the past year:
- The overthrow of the regime, together with its main symbols and figures, bringing them – and also officers accused of killing martyrs of the revolution – to trial, albeit slow and protracted.
- Dissolution of the People's Assembly and Shura Council as well as local councils.
- Allowing the establishment of political parties upon application to the Judiciary Committee.
- Referendum on amending the constitution.
- Preparation of a road map for the transfer of ruling power from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to elected civilian authorities.
- The holding and securing of the People's Assembly elections in a free, fair and greatly improved manner.
- The holding of elections for several professional associations.
- University professors elected a number of heads of universities and deans of faculties despite the absence of a law that provides for that.
- Allowing peaceful demonstrations in many ‘million-man marches’ without security interference.
- Partial purification of the Ministry of Interior.
- Reimbursement for the families of the martyrs and the injured.
Second, goals yet to be achieved and errors that should not have occurred:
- The continued state of emergency, despite emphasis on ending it before the election.
- Military trials of civilians, and dishonouring of some young-ladies with so-called virginity tests, dragging one of them in the square, partly undressing her, and abusing others in the brutal events near the Cabinet buildings.
- Slow response to demands of the people, which forced people to go out in million-man marches to pressure SCAF to respond, where originally the people should not have to demonstrate after 11/Feb/2011 and their demands should have been met quickly considering that the people and the army are partners in the revolution.
The previous point meant repeated sit-ins in Tahrir Square, which resulted in unfortunate events as the army and police attempted to break the sit-ins by force, leading to the fall of more martyrs and wounded, and even more attacks, which we reject completely (Maspero - Mohamed Mahmoud St – Cabinet Buildings).
- Lack of security and the spread of crime and the increase of influence of thugs.
- Delaying parliamentary elections - supposed to take place in June 2011, which led to the prolongation of the transitional period – supposed to be not more than six months and now could theoretically take eighteen months.
- One of the results of the extended transitional period, with its many negative effects, was that the wheel of production stopped in many factories, huge amounts of money left Egypt, investors refrained from bringing their funds to Egypt, and the country’s foreign currency in the Central Bank were depleted, all of which had a negative impact on the Egyptian economy.
- Attempts to circumvent the will of the people expressed in the March 2011 referendum, as manifested many times in conferences of Dr. Yahya Jamal and Dr. Abdul Aziz Hegazy as well as in Dr. Selmi’s so-called Supra-Constitutional initiative including the desire to give the army special privileges so that it becomes a state within and above the state and above the Constitution, and to set so-called criteria for selection of the Constituent Assembly of the Constitution, an obvious encroachment on the right of the elected People's Assembly and the Shura Council.
- Failure to purge mass media despite their promotion, defense and hypocrisy with regard to the former regime and its corruption, as some continue their habitual misinformation and misstatement, until now.
- Failure to purge the judiciary, although it includes those who participated in the falsification of the 2005 elections and the issuance of politicized verdicts at the whim of despotic rulers.
- Failure to take practical action so far in the field of social justice, especially to set minimum and maximum wage limits.
- The incredible slowdown, if not complete stop, in seeking to recover money looted and smuggled by former regime heads and staff, amounting to billions of dollars that the country needs most badly.
This was the harvest of the past year. We hope that, before this year is over, all the objectives of the revolution will have been achieved, with a smooth transfer of power, an effective start of construction and rejuvenation – which is the real test, since building is more difficult than demolition: it does test the resolve of men, of peoples.
*Dr. Mahmoud Ghozlan is a Member of The Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau, and Its Media Spokesman.