Egyptians keen on dethronement?

Egyptians keen on dethronement?

Egyptians face hunger and poverty amid the increasingly deteriorating economic situation.

A second “revolution” is looming over the country of pyramids; now the “Muslim Brotherhood”, namely the seemingly elected president Mohammed Mursi will face the risk. Following the first round of elections in May 2012, Mursi and former Egyptian Prime Minister (ally of overthrown Hosni Mubarak) Ahmed Shafik topped the list.

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Some sources claim a secret agreement had been reached before the second round, with Mursi winning the vote yet abstaining from drastic moves and maintaining earlier agreements on financial aid with the U.S.. Things seemed to have calmed down then, but Tahrir square still hosts tens of thousands of people protesting against the authorities. The key protest in these actions relates to economic problems and not the constitution. Egyptians face hunger and poverty amid the increasingly deteriorating economic situation.

Egypt has always been a poor country, but Mubarak managed to secure 70% of budget income through tourism only. Now, there is none of the kind, and will hardly ever be in the near future. Poverty in Egypt is quite surprising, given the country's resources of gas, oil, iron ore, phosphates, limestone, manganese, zinc, and lead. However, desert accounts for 96% of Egypt's territory. In addition, taking into account the demographic situation, it seems that no constitution or the Sharia law will save the people from poverty and unemployment.

The situation will further deteriorate, with Egypt turning into a terrorist supplier. Also, it should be noted that Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahiri has been the leader of Al Qaeda. The thing is that the Muslim Brotherhood does not know how to feed the people, and their ability to attract foreign investments is extremely limited. The jobless and poor people constantly strive for survival. “This is the real time bomb for the Cairo regime, and not the political or judicial fight between the secular and Islamist citizens,” Maariv paper reports.

Egypt’s liberal opposition turned down the new constitutional declaration passed by president Mursi on December 9; it urged all secular forces to join the mass rallies against a referendum on the new constitution scheduled for December 15.

The opposition called on all progressive forces of Egypt to come to the “squares of Egyptian cities as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by president Mursi and disagreement with organization of referendum on December 15, 2012.”

Egyptian president summoned armed forces to provide for the security in the country during the referendum on the new constitution due to take place on December 15, the local media report referring to a presidential administration representative. According to the presidential order, the military are invited to provide for security and measures to protect state institutions until the outcomes of the national voting are announced. The Egyptian army must agree all its actions with the internal troops. Army officers get the same rights as the police and can detain those violating the current legislation, with further transfer to the prosecutor’s office. The trial on those arrested by the Egyptian army will be held in compliance with the regular order of the civil courts, the presidential decree says.

By the way, the streets of Cairo had no traffic lights during Mubarak’s presidency. There are none now, either. Still, the police stood on every crossroads to regulate the traffic back then. This aimed to tackle several problems at a time; the youth had a job and could support their families.

Unfortunately, the confrontation in Egypt will last long and risks ending up in anarchy like it happened in Libya. If Mursi follows Turkey’s example by maintaining moderate policy in promoting the Islamist law, the situation appears not a bad one. After all, Egypt has been one of the most politically significant countries in the Middle East.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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