Julie Webb-Pullman reports

Time for the Egyptian ‘opposition’ to observe democratic norms

07 December 2012

It is not the Morsi government that has lost legitimacy, but the manifestly mis-named National Salvation Front.

In a genuine democracy, the opposition accepts that the government is elected to rule and that the opposition’s role is constructive criticism and keeping alternative policies in view – through the parliamentary process.

An opposition that spurns the parliamentray process, that spurns dialogue, and that sinks to vicious street thuggery in order to achieve its ends does not deserve the support or respect of the Egyptian people, or of the international community.

The torching of Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo and several other regional centres, attacks on the Presidential Palace and on Morsi’s home, and the murder of six Morsi supporters by ‘opposition’ protesters are hardly the hallmarks of democracy, or of a legitimate opposition, in action.

Rather, they are the hallmarks of a brutal, illegitimate and concerted destabilisation attempt – and it is no coincidence that it comes hot on the heels of the Egyptian-brokered Isarel-Gaza ceasefire agreement.

The roles of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei and co-conspirator Amr Moussa, ex-leader of the Arab League, in these shameful proceedings is nothing short of scandalous. Both should know better.

If ever two people disqualified themselves from serious consideration for leadership roles in a democratic state by their own blatantly undemocratic behaviour, surely these two must top the list by their actions over the past week.

Mahmoud Hussein, Secretary-General of the Muslim Brotherhood, was generous in describing opposition protesters’ behaviour as “crude and contemptible ways of expression, rather than (putting) their points across in a civilized manner” – many would call it outright barbarity.

If there is to be any ‘national salvation’ in Egypt, it must begin with dialogue, not with street thuggery masquerading as legitimate dissent.

And if creating a genuine democracy in Egypt is the aim of the opposition, and of the Egyptian people, the first steps should be taken in the houses of parliament, not in the streets.

Isn’t that what 846 Egyptians died for in 2011?

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3 responses

  1. Maha Yehia

    This view represents only a minority of brainwashed Egyptians. As we speak hundreds of thousands of Egyptians from all over the country have taken to the streets to protest against the attempts of their ‘ democratically elected leader’ to abduct their newly found will and freedom, by delegating their constitution to his followers to write in exclusion of everybody else.
    I sincerely hope your readers do not believe your views are representative.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm

  2. Hundreds of thousands in a country of over 80 million is not representative – and representation is the key word here. Egyptians freely elected REPRESENTATIVES to Parliament, to conduct the political business of the country there, following democratic norms. THAT is where the differing viewpoints should be being presented – not in the street, through violence, but in the parliament, through dialogue.

    December 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

  3. Yohanna

    I’m Egyptian living in Cairo. I can tell you that the latest protests boast ‘dozens’ or ‘hundreds’ of so-called protesters – at the most. Certainly NOT hundreds of thousands! Do you ever wonder where are all those hundreds of thousands of former operatives of State Security forces, the notorious dark forces in Egypt for decades… ever wondered where all these men have disappeared? Could they be behind the violence across Egypt these days?

    February 25, 2013 at 6:19 am

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