Monday, July 1, 2013

Egypt's woes. Will the army intervene to 'support democracy?'

Egypt is awash with discontent at the present. Where does this spring from? There is little doubt that the incumbent leader won the right to rule, but there is also a great deal to suggest that he has taken it upon himself to steer Egypt towards becoming an Islamic Republic in every sense of the word. He does this at his peril because he simply does not have the mandate to do this. He is also ignoring Egypt’s recent history. No leader can survive without at least the tacit support of the military!
Now that the military has given the government 48 hours to sort out the issues surrounding the latest ‘discontent,’ it seems that we will see a return to military style government. This is a step backwards and will not solve the deep divisions in Egyptian society.
It is true that many Egyptians are devout Muslims and they favour a government that leans in that direction, but there is also a large sector of Egyptian society that does not want the leadership as expressed by the present leader to rule every aspect of their lives. This is also to be seen in the streets of Turkey’s major cities.
The military will have its way, but that will not stop the movement of the people in the streets. Last time when Mubarak was challenged, the military were hardly paragons of democracy, so expect a pretty heavy hand once things go haywire on the next few days. The burgeoning experiment towards a form of Egyptian democracy will be threatened rather than enhanced by the military interventions. At best this will curtail the more extreme elements of Egyptian Islamic fundamentalism. Hopefully, the foreign ‘players in this dispute, stay away, but perhaps that is na├»ve to say the least. The USA, UE, Russia and possibly China all have agendas that can only fuel an already volatile situation.
We must accept that it is Egyptians who should resolve Egyptian issues! In the meantime the people of Egypt will continue to enact their version of the Arab Spring.