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Egypt's Uncertain Transition Towards Democracy Essay

4273 words - 18 pages

Egypt’s Uncertain Transition Towards Democracy
What is Egypt’s relationship with democracy? A question that has become increasingly controversial ever since the “Arab Spring”. This paper is going to be addressing Egypt’s relationship with democracy as it assesses its transition into it over the years. For a considerable length of time Egypt has been in a crisis. Not only has their economy taken a turn for the worst but there is also a strong sense of aloofness between the government and Egyptian subjects. Executive power has been passed from the hands of President Honsi Mubarak, to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, then won by present president Mohamed Morsi, up until he was removed ...view middle of the document...

What is certain, however, is that what happens in Egypt will be the key to future regional peace and security. With due respect to the Tunisian protesters, whose bravery and courage acted as the spark for the mass popular movements sweeping the region, the transition to a democratic state in Tunisia will not have as wide-ranging a regional or global impact. Egypt has long been the linchpin of the regional security framework, and indeed the keystone of regional stability. While it is true that Egypt’s status in the region had begun to fade under the strain of numerous challenges, it is Mubarak’s regime which oversaw and contributed to this waning influence. His removal now changes the regional equation and makes Egypt’s unknown future once more of paramount relevance to regional peace and security. Accurately forecasting what may transpire in Egypt over the transitional period, and what form of government will emerge, depends on examining and understanding the motivations of the protest movement and how it operated. The transition to a genuine democratic government in Egypt will depend upon how successfully the members of the protest movement can translate the euphoria of their victory into workable grassroots political processes. The pro-democracy movement will need to transfer the techniques, tactics and processes they used to remove their rusted-on leader into organizing and establishing robust modern political parties with developed policy platforms, modern campaigning structures and broad grassroots support. This progression will need to occur in a relatively short period if the time frame for elections in September is adhered to. The powerful motivations of the demonstrators could be seen clearly throughout the protests, but, particularly near the final days of the popular uprising, the demonstrators largely represented a cross-section of Egyptian society. There were people of all ages, men and women (educated and not), poor and rich, middle class, Muslim and Christian. While the youth elements, much celebrated in the western press as the heroes of the ‘Facebook revolution’, certainly are to be commended for organising and propelling the early protests, it was the cross-section of all Egyptians that came onto the streets in such massive numbers over consecutive days that eventually defeated Mubarak.
The broad composition of the protest movement seems to belie the fear that Mubarak’s removal will result in an Islamist takeover. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) was certainly a key part of the protest movement, but they were not the instigators, nor were they its driving force. Initially, the older MB leadership, a generation that had shadowed the Mubarak regime for the past thirty years, was reluctant for the MB to officially join the street protest movement instigated by the Facebook crowd. The MB as an organization only embraced the protests after its younger cohorts moved against the wishes of their elders and went out early to join other...

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