Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1129, 3 - 9 January 2013
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1129, 3 - 9 January 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

What will happen in 2013 is anybody’s guess

What will happen in Egypt in 2013 was the most debated issue on the social networks this week. Egyptians were divided into two: the first optimistic that the country would find a way out of its troubled transition, while the second was pessimistic about the future of the country following the referendum on the controversial constitution.

On his Facebook page, Mohamed Mahmoud listed his wishes of 2013. He hoped Egypt would end the political polarisation caused by the policies of President Mohamed Morsi since he took office in July. Mahmoud also said he believed Egyptians are able to unite in the face of economic and political challenges the country.

“Despite all our problems caused by our divisions, I am sure we are able to reunite and build our beloved Egypt,” Mahmoud said.

Mustafa Mounir expects that 2013 will witness more political tension and violence, calling on Egyptians to get ready for this stage and denounce violence by putting the country’s interest above their personal preferences.

“2013 will have the parliamentary elections which I expect will witness violence and the death of many innocent people,” Mounir said.

Alyaa Mahrous believes that every Egyptian must make national reconciliation among all society’s factions his or her top priority. It is our good or bad will that decides what will happen in 2013.

“Allah mentioned this country in the Quran, gifted it with peace and good people,” Mahrous added. “Let’s make our country a better place.”

Morsi’s opponents fail to act like a credible opposition

The writer of the Beheyya blog blames the opposition for not being as big as the moment Egypt is passing through. Below is a summary of what Beheyya wrote.

“President Mohamed Morsi’s opponents in the National Salvation Front have garnered plenty of criticism for being obstructionists, sore losers, or bad faith interlocutors, depending on who’s levelling the charge. My own view is that their fault is more basic than that, having to do with their half-baked idea of what a political opposition is. Effective opposition doesn’t mean stomping one’s foot like a toddler and rejecting everything that comes from the government. It means keeping tabs on officials and informing citizens of their misdeeds. Above all, it means persuading the public that the opposition can do better at running things than the government.

“It has to be said that the Egyptian opposition faced a very long, uphill battle after Morsi’s election. Not only did a true opposition figure come tantalisingly close to entering the run-off, only to be edged aside by the two oligarchies dominating Egyptian politics. But the post-revolutionary political arena is still under construction.

“The opposition thus started from sub-zero conditions, with very little resources and lots of horrible diseases courtesy of Sadat and Mubarak. Crippling internal divisions, holdover pseudo-opposition figures, and not the faintest notion of how to build broad constituencies are just three of the legacies left by Egypt’s autocrats that made it extra hard for the emergent democratic opposition.

“Still, I’m stunned at Morsi’s opponents’ failure to act like a credible opposition ever since his 22 November decrees. They could barely contain their glee at his cascading failures, outdoing each other in branding him a dictator and clambering atop the rising tide of popular protest. Instead of acting like the responsible statesmen they claim to be, Morsi’s critics turned into shrill Cassandras, prophesying doom and impending civil war. Most significant, they resolutely refused to meet with the president when the crisis worsened, treating him like an enemy who must be brought down.

“This is very different from their behaviour several months ago, when they began branding themselves and organising for parliamentary elections. Their committed cadres fully appreciated the challenge of building real parties, not just clumps of followers. The three principals (Mohamed Al-Baradei, Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabahi) then banded together to monitor Morsi’s delivery on election promises, exactly what an opposition should do. When conflict over the constitution escalated, they all accepted Morsi’s invitation to dialogue and relayed to him their parties’ demands.

“Instead of seeing themselves as part of a fledgling political system with stakes in its survival, the NSF politicians reverted to the old template of battling autocracy. Morsi became another dictator with whom you never negotiate, not a fumbling elected president who can and must be checked. Egyptian politics became a zero-sum battle between a moral, valiant opposition and a sinister power-hungry theocracy. Morsi is Mubarak redux. The opposition must be uncompromising, because compromise is defeat.

“My point about the NSF isn’t that it’s infiltrated by fulul (remnants of the former regime) or that it’s an alliance of convenience. It’s that its notion of opposition is sophomoric at best and putschist at worst. The sight of politicians refusing to negotiate with an elected president but then agreeing to the military’s “we’re all family” shindig is beyond pitiful. How much more effective to have negotiated with Morsi a cancellation of his decree and a postponement of the referendum? If he refused the latter, the NSF could’ve called his bluff and walked out triumphant, revealing the MB’s bullying to the public while proving themselves to be responsible problem-solvers. Instead, by acting militant in a situation that required hard bargaining, the NSF is left to accept the fact of the referendum while saving face by grandstanding about conditions already in place. 



“The Muslim Brotherhood’s project is nothing less than a full scale counter-revolution.” @Hani Shukrallah

“The biggest casualty of the long and tumultuous year in Egypt is the Egyptian citizen himself.”

@Bassem Sabry

“The most controversial part in President Morsi’s speech that will anger opposition is saying violent protests are behind tourism retreat.” @Rawya Rageh

“President Morsi went from showing crowds ‘no bullet-proof vest’, to having cops every five metres at Qasr Al-Aini when he gives a speech at the Shura.” @H.A. Hellyer

“Mubarak ruled Egypt for 30 years and we never heard of high treason charges against anyone. Today, opposing Morsi became high treason.”

@Ahmad Sarhan

“Hypocrisy of liberals refusing to accept the referendum has revealed an uncomfortable irony of Islamists engaged in democracy.”

@Seditious Medic

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