Rocky road ahead in Egypt for democracy
The Kansas City Star
Egypt has descended into a precarious position. Inconclusive presidential elections, power plays by the military and unconfirmed reports about the health of ousted President Hosni Mubarak have provided unsettling drama.
Egypt is an important ally to America, with an army in a unique position to support Israel and promote peace in the volatile Middle East. Transitions from military to democratic rule are usually rocky, and it should not be surprising that Egypt has become this complex.
A Constitutional Court ruled the parliamentary elections were illegal, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved Parliament and 100 experts are working on a new constitution.
Both the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate and Mubarak’s former prime minister claim to have won the election. Protesters are back in Tahrir Square because the results have been delayed. The former parliamentarians are setting up their own committee on the constitution.
This muddled situation and heavy-handed military presence is a far cry from the democracy the protesters at Tahrir Square in 2011 gathered and agitated for. The new president, whoever it turns out to be, can make democracy possible only by adhering to the people’s voice. An army consolidating power and maintaining a hold on the country does not work in democratic states.
A positive transition will be a test of the success of the Arab Spring, whose probable pinnacle was the resolute gatherings at Tahrir Square. And right now much must be resolved for Egypt to validate the heady optimism of that revolution.