The demonstration, which was called for by the Egyptian revolution youth so it would have a million participants … on a number of Egyptian squares and arenas, is a necessary step to bring the revolution back on the right track.
Five months after former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, the current stalemate is threatening with the loss of many among the revolution’s acquisitions and is paving the way before the reconstruction of the collapsing mechanisms of tyranny and despotism. This is not mere talk as a number of incidents and developments recently witnessed in Egypt revealed the presence of powers working hard to turn the clock backward.
The absence of any vision for the future of the country, the confused performance of the judiciary (which one day annuls the local councils and on another day releases the accused in the killing of demonstrators before recanting the latter step), the bemused public administration, the acute mystery prevailing over the security position and the reality of what the apparatuses are doing, and the alarming testimonies regarding the continuation of the previous practices, remain mere samples of the state of concern prevailing over Egypt during this transitory phase.
Among the characteristics of all the transitory phases is the rise of the level of polarization between the active powers in the country. Today, the two most organized parties in Egypt are the army and the Muslim Brotherhood and none of them seems to want the end of this stage, after they came to savor the taste of wide prerogatives which are still - truth be said – far away from any legislative or legal control. And after the relations between the army and the MB witnessed highs and lows at the level of specific files – such as the future of the security bodies – one can say that both sides have been in the same trench since the referendum over the constitutional amendments in March.
This is one source of the major threats facing the Egyptian revolution, i.e. the unannounced alliance between the two sides and the willingness of the army and the MB to seal a major deal which guarantees to the first the right to control – from the backstage - political and economic life in the country following the end of the transitional phase, in exchange for concessions to the Muslim Brotherhood in the area of social, cultural and educational policies.
This alliance truly threatens with the emergence of a rule using religion as a cover, but actually controlled by the junta that is governing today. At this level, Arab modern history is filled with models of alliances in which power was divided between groups that wanted to maintain their own interests at the expense of those of the vast majority of the citizens.
On the other hand, the powers that are deeply disappointed with the military council and the government headed by Issam Sharaf (who also disappointed the revolution youth) are trying to push the events toward what they perceive as being a completion of the goals for which over 800 Egyptians fell with the bullets of the regime’s security forces during the revolution. In reality, the military, Mr. Sharaf and his government did not close many files that should have been closed before the beginning of the new stage, i.e. following the elections that will be held in September. Indeed, the “constitution first or the elections first” formula led nowhere and the trials of the former symbols of the regime (both the corrupt and the criminals) did not witness much progress despite the issuance of some sentences in cases that are not at the heart of the revolutionaries’ demands (the first sentence was issued against former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali and the second against his counterpart in the Interior Ministry Habib Al Adli in regard to a marginal case).
No one can argue about the intricacy of the current situation, the fact that there are many more questions than answers surrounding Egypt’s future and that the forces seeking to consecrate their positions on the political arena are engaged in apparent and underlying conflicts that are extremely complex and intertwined. However, all this should not conceal the most prominent truth, i.e. that the protection of the revolution is a mission that has not yet been accomplished.
(The writer is a columnist at Dar Al Hayat newspaper where this article was first published on July 8, 2011.