Rekindled Protests in Egypt

December 15, 2011

Political Theory


Egypt has been closely monitored in the press since the initial protests in January and February of this year.  They ended the regime of Mubarak and had a bright future of a democracy.  The military leaders assumed control once President Mubarak was gone to keep the order and peace as they set up a new form of government.  Now, nearly one year after the initial protests, the leaders are slow to start the new form of government and they are making the voting system very complex and confusing. (There are 12 rounds of voting that are complex and will take place over a course of months.)  Simultaneously, political parties are emerging and their voices are being heard more.  With so much push and pull of progress and regression, the Egyptians are unhappy and want another change.  The Egyptians are determined and they know what they want.  They have taken to the streets once again and are fighting for freedom and equality.

These protests remind me of the Civil Rights protests that Dr. Martin Luther King describes.  The Egyptians are not afraid to be arrested or hurt.  They accept that they have to submit and deal with the consequences of their protests.  Nevertheless, they are still in the streets fighting for their freedom.  They want a democracy because they know that they have been treated unfairly.   And the people are relentless- they wanted a democracy one year ago, but it has not happened and the people are impatient.  “This second round of protests are really just a continuation of the first because the first one failed” (Time 12/5/11)  What I find to be remarkable about these protests is that there is no leader that is rallying the protestors.  There is no single voice that people hearken to.  Rather, there are multiple voices and they all have slightly different agendas.  I see this as the birth of a real democracy.  The Egyptian people do not want another regime.  They don’t want a singular leader to govern them.  It is clear that they want all of their different parties and agendas to be heard.  The most prominent political party currently is the Muslim Brotherhood. They have 30-40% of the people’s support in Egypt.  There are other prominent parties such as the Copts, Egypt’s main Christian minority, the Salafists, Islamist purists.  These collective voices are more representative of the people that live in Egypt.

This progress is great for the future of a democratic Egypt.  Voting for the first legitimate time was on November 28th.  However, the issues in Egypt are more complex. These things are a strong step in the right direction, however, the military regime is still in control.  Egyptians are angry because they fear that the military officers are just filling the shoes of Mubarak and will not actually change any policies.  Whether or not the protests are necessary and required, time will tell. It can be argued that the military officials have not had enough time to set up an entirely new form of government.  However, many believe that they are holding onto their power and trying to keep the control of Egypt.

What do you think?   Do the people of Egypt have a right to be protesting once again against the military leaders who are still in the process of setting up a new government?  Do you think the the people of Egypt will finally get what they want and have a democracy?  Will they continue protesting until their demands are met? Comment below!

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About lmaren

UM student, sophomore, harp performance major, political science minor.

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One Comment on “Rekindled Protests in Egypt”

  1. ryanjcarney Says:

    Of course the people have the right to protest the military government if they believe it isn’t accomplishing what they want. The question is though whether the protests will accomplish much themselves. It’s hard to say whether Egypt will get the democracy the people seem to desire (I too was pretty skeptical when the military took over after Mubarek’s departure) but as long as the people keep expressing their desires and protesting then only good can come of it – that is they have a better chance of getting the government they want. Who knows whether they’ll continue protesting until their demands are met but this year has shown that the people have been more than willing to do it thus far, let’s hope they continue on the path they’ve chosen.

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