Sunday, December 04, 2005
What should be done now? This is the question that the regime and the secular opposition parties should be asking themselves.
The Muslim Brotherhood might be the strongest and most organized opposition entity in Egypt for many years to come. They might still be the "black horse" in many of our future elections. Yet inaction is not an option. Something must be done.
The National Democratic Party & the Government
The NDP (Mubarak's party) should meet behind closed doors and say this sentence over and over again: the Egyptian people hate us because we messed up their lives big time, we need to change, we need to change!
The NDP should finally realize that Egyptians are not happy with their life. They are tired of unemployment, tired of corruption, tired of prices that increase when the dollar goes up yet never decrease when the dollar goes down, tired of how the police treat them, tired of how their humanity gets raped by government employees, tired of seeing foreigners being treated more humanely just because they own a foreign passport, tired of many other things. The NDP should simply wake up to the conclusion that they messed up and something must be done about it.
I believe that the NDP do contain good entities who can rejuvenate the party and connect it to the dissatisfied masses. I believe that the only positive thing that these elections produced is the possibility that the NDP will reassess and criticize itself. I won't mind at all if Gamal Mubarak, President Mubarak's son, was the one who lead this rebirth process provided that the party's old guards will give us all a break and back off. The Egyptian people are not asking for much. They are asking for a decent life. They are asking for a piece of bread they'll eat with dignity and not with exhaustion and humiliation. I don't believe it will be that difficult for the NDP, the ruling party, to work towards that goal.
Another thing. I am hoping that the regime will finally realize it needs to lift its hands off the secular and liberal (liberal in the Egyptian sense) parties. The choice we have today is between the despised ruling party and an ideologically crazy religious organization because secular liberal parties don’t have the freedom to operate and reach out to the masses. The ruling party has the media and the government establishments. The MB have the mosques and their tremendous network of social services. The secular parties have nothing. It’s not fair!
The Opposition Parties
These parties need to wake up and start going down the street. I am not sure how many years they need before they make an impact on Egyptian politics, but they better move today than tomorrow.
Faithful members of these parties should revolt against the corrupt and dictatorial leaders who are ruling the parties the same way the NDP is ruling Egypt. These leaders crippled the parties and converted them into private fiefdoms.
The United States
The U.S should understand that democracy is more than a ballot box. Besides its interest in Egypt’s elections, the US should pressure the Egyptian government to allow moving space for secular parties. That should be the first priority on US’ agenda. The regime will not do that by itself. No one digs his own grave.