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ElBaradei Quit Undemocratic Egypt? – OpEd


By Mohyeddin Sajedi

ElBaradei believes the former regime (of ex-President Hosni Mubarak) is still running the country as if a revolution has never happened.

The establishment of democracy in a country which has only been freed for just over a year might not seem plausible even for the Egyptians themselves. This, because democracy is the result of economic interests and social behavior, which cannot be established in a short time.

However, what is important is the approach of the new rulers, who should be seeking to plan a democratic regime.

There is a lot of skepticism regarding the commitment of Egypt’s ruling military council to the establishment of democracy in the country or even its willingness to hand over power to the civilian institutions.

The incredulity has been reiterated by former US President Jimmy Carter, who had travelled to Egypt to assess the country’s parliamentary elections.

ElBaradei referred to the struggles made by Egypt’s military council to retain the former regime as another reason for his pullout, comparing the army to a ship captain struggling to steer his vessel in the middle of a storm.

The military council has assumed the captaincy of the ship without the permission of its passengers and without necessary knowledge, ElBaradei said, adding that the junta is only stepping in the direction of the former regime, as if no revolution had happened and no regime had been toppled.

Another of ElBaradei’s objections concerns the decision to hold Egypt’s presidential election prior to the drafting and approving of the new constitution.

ElBaradei and the leaders of small or newly-establishment parties opposed the staging of parliamentary elections in the current situation and believed that only those parties with strong backgrounds and systems can win the elections.

The outcome of the elections showed that those parties linked with the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi inclinations won 60 percent of the parliament’s seats.

There is no doubt that the recent elections admitted those parties with a favorable social base among the Egyptian public into the parliament.

The recent elections were held without any of the riggings common to the polls held during the three decade reign of Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak. Jimmy Carter was one of those who confirmed the soundness of the elections.

However, some of the new Egyptian political movements and those representing the country’s youth, failed to win a major portion of parliamentary seats. The youth believe Egypt’s military council has hijacked the country’s revolution.

When it became apparent that Hosni Mubarak could not resist public protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the country’s other big cities, Egypt’s military council, encouraged by the US, entered the fray and assumed power to prevent the disintegration of the regime and ensure that the governmental institutions remain standing as before.

The council’s military generals disagreed with Mubarak’s decision regarding the transition of power to his eldest son Gamal Mubarak given his lack of military background, saying that Egypt is in need of a leader with major standing in the army.

The ongoing trial of Hosni Mubarak, his sons and his ministers has failed to convince the Egyptian people.

It is believed that the military council does not want Mubarak, who had come to power as a commander of air force, to be condemned. Each time, the former Egyptian President is taken to and from the court via a helicopter, imposing great costs upon the Egyptian people. Meanwhile, Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi testified in favor of Mubarak in the court. Mubarak had appointed Tantawi and all the other members of military council.

This council is popular among some of the Egyptians, those who believe that only the rule of military can save the country from the current mayhem or those who were dependent upon the former regime and tried to reach the parliament through the elections. The notable Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated Freedom and Justice party also enjoyed a good relationship with the junta and have repeatedly been accused of cooperation with the military council. The same goes with the Salafis and their al-Nur party.

More importantly, the Muslim Brotherhood has been accused of reaching an agreement with the US and the Israeli regime to uphold the Camp David accord. Last week’s visit by the US Deputy of State William Burns to Cairo and his negotiations with the leaders of the Freedom and Justice Party in their base has strengthened such speculations among the Egyptians.

One of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the rumors and has said Egypt’s future parliament would decide about this agreement. However, this individual explanation given in an interview with the Al-Alam TV channel has not been very convincing.

Tunisia celebrated the anniversary of its revolution and the overthrowing of its former President Zein El-Abedin on Saturday, January 14th.

There isn’t much certainty, however, that similar festivities be held in Egypt on January 25.

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