One would think that once the Freedom and Justice Party, also known as the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, took almost half of the seats which were recently elected to the to be formed Egyptian Parliament in the just ended three part elections, would be patient enough to wait a couple more months to take the reins of power. Well, you had better rethink that premise as the Muslim Brotherhood has now requested that the ruling Military Council surrender their power to the elected Parliament and allow the appointment of a Prime Minister by the Muslim Brotherhood so that the business of rebuilding Egypt in the new image and under a new Constitution which still needs to be written. The Muslim Brotherhood has also been pointing to the increased violence and the confrontations between the demonstrators and the military as a reason that these changes are so very vital to rebuilding Egypt and returning them to the world of nations more readily. Apparently the little fact that many of the protesters were members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the actual demonstrations were planned, financed, and executed by the Muslim Brotherhood should not be taken into consideration when turning the country over to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party while also placing the Muslim Brotherhood’s chosen person to become the Prime Minister. Of course, they guarantee that in future elections they will guarantee the Prime Ministers will be chosen democratically.
After watching the election shenanigans of the Palestinian Authority in general and Fatah Party in particular and you can see a very similar start of circumnavigating elections when bothersome and the pattern repeating seemingly without end. After the Palestinian Authority, under immense pressure from President Bush and his Administration, included Hamas and the other less populous terror groups which make up the entire power structure of Palestinian governance to also place candidates on the ballots and have their people vote; Hamas won a majority of the seats in the Palestinian authority Parliament. Fearing losing his position of privilege and power as President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas has refused to stand for reelection and has thwarted every attempt at holding Presidential election. The other result of this forced decision which proved the actual popularity which Hamas was able to garner in the population was the revolt by Hamas taking complete power in Gaza and relegating Abbas and Fatah to the West Bank. Despite a number of attempts to reunite Hamas and Fatah, the two groups are still at odds which is becoming blatantly evident once again as they presently are attempting to patch together an agreement once again. One needs to remember that Hamas is another wing of the Muslim Brotherhood being formed and backed to this day by the Muslim Brotherhood. Oddly enough, I believe that the intransigence and lack of favor for democratic governance against top down dictatorial command governance would pretty much preclude a return to honest democratic elections should they succeed in having the ruling Military Council forgo elections for the position of Prime Minister and acquiesce by appointing one who was simply offered and approved by the Muslim Brotherhood. Then again, I might be sorely mistaken, time will tell.
Meanwhile, Egypt has been hemorrhaging cash reserves at an incredible rate and one of Egypt’s greatest revenue enterprises, tourism, has virtually disappeared. Add to that situation the statement by a number of ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood stating that they have no concern and tourism could dry up and never return for all they cared as it only brought foreign ideas and the way of the infidels into Egypt which can only be a corrupting influence. Fortunately, there have been a few others who have shown a greater concern for the hard truths about every country and its need for sustainable capital inflow and have called for assurances to be issued that tourists will not be held to the Sharia Law as long as they remain in the normally frequented areas denoted for tourists. Where for many who wish to visit Egypt and see some of the true wonders of the World that are found there may not be honestly comfortable with such a ruling, it is a step towards keeping the “Open for Tourism” sign lighted in Egypt. Never the less, I will probably not make plans to visit Egypt immediately but rather wait for some permanence to settle in and then judge whether or not the situation is favorable for tourism before making plans. As things stand now, for the sake of the future of the Egyptian people and in support of Egypt eventually developing an honest and true democratic governance, I pray that the ruling Military Council takes the more difficult road and forces all concerned to complete the planned path to civilian rule and finish all sectors of the voting process. Once all the positions have been duly elected and everything needed is in place, then I would hope that the Military would retreat and allow the civilian government to take the helm. After that, all any of us will be able to do is pray for the best and prepare for anything less. This is a situation where keeping to the agreed upon processes and schedules is actually important as once corners are allowed to be cut, the corners getting cut only get larger and larger until nothing remains except the clipping of cut corners.
Beyond the Cusp