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Back to the old Egypt?

If the claims of the opposition activists are true, why don’t they use this 'massive electoral strength' in trying to win parliamentary elections, only a few months away? 

From the moment former President Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office on 11 February 2011, the disgruntled beneficiaries of the corrupt Mubarak regime have been on a direct and persistent course of planning to undermine the revolution and to reverse this ‘unfortunate’ and unexpected incident that threatened their privileged positions in Egyptian society.

Suddenly, the financial beneficiaries of the Mubarak regime who controlled and exploited the country for so long felt that their privileged positions, versus the impoverished and miserable populace of Egypt, are under real threat. The prospect that the monopoly of wealth and power could be broken was unimaginable to Egypt’s financial elite and to all those who benefited from the sky-high pyramids of corruption and clientelism. These pyramids were among the main achievements Egypt’s modern time pharaoh, and have left Egypt and associated Arab countries lagging behind while the rest of the world progressed economically and politically. Once a leading country in Africa and the Middle East, Egypt has been falling behind in both regions, while other countries, large and small, have been progressing. A glimmer of light opened with the revolution of 25 January 2011. There is a real risk that the glimmer of light could be closing now.

Beneficiaries of the Mubarak regime have been working relentlessly to support the reversal of the clock to bring back the good old Mubarak times when they monopolised wealth and power, corruption flourished and democracy was an alien concept. The months following the revolution, when the secular Egyptian Army institution took over, witnessed repeated efforts to destabilise the country through acts of violence and protest. This period also witnessed a Mubarak-era campaign of demonising the Muslim Brotherhood group, which, along with any conservative or religious elements of society, had been persecuted and oppressed brutally under Mubarak and his predecessors. This post-revolution period witnessed a strange alliance between the former members of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party with the financially privileged and the anti-conservative movements, also known as liberals and seculars. These pro-democracy liberals have suddenly turned anti-democracy; wanting to overturn democratically elected officials by force, and favouring the return of a military dictatorship that ruled Egypt for more than 60 years. 

To their frustration, this alliance has been witnessing one failure after another. From its consistent failures in six democratic elections and referendums that took place after the revolution, to its failures to destabilise the country permanently, and then the failure to present any credible vision or plan for the country –whether out of incompetence or reluctance to focus on real work, the outcome was the same.

Along the way, this fatal alliance has been exploiting the naivety of the Egyptian public, fed by the media controlled by the tycoons of this fatal alliance, which control most of the private media in Egypt.Many believed what they were told - for example, that the US Government’s acceptance of the first democratically elected President in Egypt’s history was due to a hidden and devious agreement between the US and the Muslim Brotherhood – a strange story, given that the natural choice for US support would have been Mubarak’s heir, Shafik. At the same time, President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were seen as giving Hamas a free hand in Egypt and supporting them unequivocally – again contradictory given that the United States and Israel are not the best friends of Hamas. Commentators were even hinting that the Supreme Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood was a personal close ally of Israel and the United States.  

Although parliamentary elections are only a few months away, the confidence of this fatal alliance in another failure at the elections has led them to try one last push; bringing all-out chaos to Egypt to try to bring the roof down on both the elected government and on themselves, dragging with them the rest of an innocent population. This shows how peculiar is the claim of opposition activists that they collected signatures of 22 million people, including 7 million in the past few days, demanding the resignation of President Morsi.

To put things into perspective; a total of 25 million Egyptians voted in the last presidential elections one year ago - for all candidates. And the opposition refuse to use this 'massive electoral strength' in trying to win parliamentary elections, only a few months away? Combined with the fact that the opposition has consistently failed to win a single election or referendum out of six that took place since the revolution - the last of which was only six months ago. Surely this claim is closer to fiction than fact.

In this desperate attempt, this fatal alliance is seeking to accelerate the economic and security damage to Egypt that they have been working on since the revolution took place. If successful, this fatal alliance will bring back Mubarak’s good old times to Egypt; non-democratic rule, violence to silence any opposition, and the rule of corruption and monopolisation of wealth and power in the hands of the few at the expense of the majority who would continue to be exploited by a tiny minority, without any hope for the majority of a significant improvement in their financial, social and political conditions. The next few days to come will tell whether Egypt will continue on a path of transition forward – or return to the dark ages of the past.  

 

About the author

TZS is president of the Arab Awakening thinktank ( no relation to the openDemocracy page) , a UK-based think tank seeking to provide independent analysis related to progress and development in the Arab World. 


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