Saturday, November 19, 2011

The future for the Egyptian people

A little more than a week before the start of the Egyptian parliamentary elections and citizens are rioting in the streets. This upset has been the largest amount of violence seen since Mubarak was removed from power. The protests were in regard to the military-led government. The military was supposed to transfer power to a civilian-led government, but there has been question to how much power the military will have under the new Egyptian government.

So far the military has responded to protesters in a similar manner as Mubarak did, by using police riot control tactics. The police under both regimes have used tear gas, shotguns, and rubber bullets. In this recent upset of violence, there have been upwards of 200 people hospitalized. Egyptian protesters have asserted the need for the military to fully turnover power to civilian rule. Many feared that there would be difficulty in removing the military from their position of power in the interim government. These fears appear more and more legitimate due to the fact that the military has been pushing to be permanently granted the right to intervene in Egyptian politics and to be protected from oversight of the new civilian-led democracy.

It seems as if the military has decreased its demands for special privileges and protections under the new constitution, but the outrage exhibited in current protests mirrors the dissent expressed at the end of Mubarak’s rule. The citizens of Egypt are choosing not to accept temporary fixes or concessions. Before Mubarak left office, he attempted to stay in power by making concessions as well. After ruling for almost 30 years under emergency law as an authoritarian leader, Mubarak attempted to make compromises with protesters. However, Mubarak’s efforts then and the military’s actions now were not well received by the protesters. The Egyptian citizens are demanding a democratic government, and they are not willing to accept anything less.

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