May 26, 2017

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  • Op-ed: Bleeding democracy

    Droves of protesters in Tahrir Square and around the Presidential Palace in Cairo have challenged the literal definition of democracy by calling for the removal of Egypt's first "democratically" elected President Morsi.

    BY REHAM BARAKAT Cairo – My morning today was spent looking up the official definition of the word democracy, not because I don’t know what it means, but I wanted to be sure that I was working with the official version of it. Naturally because there is more than one dictionary, I couldn’t find one unified definition of this much reiterated, almost sacred word. Nonetheless, the gist of what I found is that democracy is the “government of the people” and “rule by the majority” through “elections” or “elected representatives.” The reason why I was so eager to search for…

    Analysis: Should Egypt’s president resign?

    Hundreds of thousands join mass protests at the Presidential Palace to demand the removal of President Morsi.

    BY FARAH HALIME Cairo – Some said it was the biggest protest they had ever witnessed in Egypt, even during the demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak, the former president. Indeed, yesterday’s anti-government marches calling for the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi exceeded everyone’s expectations in size and were, until late in the day, peaceful. Now, protestors, led by the “Tamarod” or “Rebel” grassroots opposition campaign, are putting increased pressure on Morsi to resign. The Rebel group say they have given the president until 5pm tomorrow to resign, after collecting 22 million signatures from Egyptians, surpassing the 15 million quota they had envisioned….

    Op-ed: Egyptian Democracy’s Last Chance?

    File photo of President Mohamed Morsi giving a speech in Tahrir Square after winning the elections in June 2012..

    BY ALVARO DE VASCONCELOS Cairo Egypt’s upcoming general election could help to consolidate its nascent democracy and provide legitimacy to the government’s efforts to address the social, political, economic, and security challenges facing the country. But no election, however successfully conducted, will be enough: Unless Egypt overcomes its current political polarization and builds a broad consensus that includes ruling Islamists and the secular opposition, its problems will persist, jeopardizing the prospect of a democratic future. Egypt’s lack of strong democratic institutions and its ongoing economic crisis are fueling social unrest and crisis, division, and hostility within the political system. At…

    Op-ed: Our fabled Arab rulers

    File photo of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

    BY AMRO ALI Saudi Arabia’s revered King Faisal once remarked: “If anyone feels wrongly treated, he has only himself to blame for not telling me. What higher democracy can there be?” This line of “reasoning” has permeated the thinking of Arab rulers in which somehow they are the personification of a popular mandate and that democratisation is misunderstood by the wider population. Yet it’s one thing when Arab rulers say it, it’s another when the Arab public quotes and endorses it. One of the ideational stumbling blocks to the Arab uprisings and democratic transitions is a public adept at citing…

    MB flaunts confrontation chip

    Protesters filled Tahrir Square Friday in objection to SCAF's coup against the democratic process.

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: Less than a day before a new president is named, the politically conservative Muslim Brotherhood finds itself at the forefront of a major battle. Having lost parliament and possibly the presidential seat, the group has been forced to defend its gains using tactics that go beyond its usual deal-making and incremental reform approach. In a turbulent week fraught with rumored doomsday scenarios the Brotherhood saw the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolve a parliament led by its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. Its near win…

    Democracy’s growing pains

    Egyptians have returned to Tahrir in protest at SCAF's addendum to the interim constitution which gives it broad powers.

    BY SAFAA ABDOUN Cairo: No sooner were the preliminary results of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak election announced, anger, attacks and accusations rippled through the streets of Egypt. Much to voters’ dismay, the results pit the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi against  Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafik in a controversial face-off leading Egyptians back to Tahrir Square. The reaction puts Egyptians’ readiness for democracy into question and anticipates future conflict after the runoff results within a few days. On May 23 around 23.6 million eligible voters cast their votes in Egypt’s first election following the January 25 uprising, approximately 46 percent of…

    Does US want democratic Egypt?

    Screen grab from an interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an official visit to Egypt days before the March 2011 referendum on constitutional amendments.

    BY SARA KHORSHID Cairo: It’s understandable that each country is entitled to pursue its national interests, and that one country’s national interest may partially conflict with that of another. But it’s difficult to comprehend how a country’s interests would be fixated around  the Middle East’s stability, and Israel’s security —  to the bitter end.Before Egypt’s January 2011 revolution, US President Barack Obama ignored calls by pro-democracy advocates against the American alliance with the ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. But even the revolution has not been enough proof to convince American decision makers that stability under a US- and Israel-friendly, yet dictatorial…

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