LAILA EL SAEDY, Egyptian testimonies
It has been more than a year since Egypt had taken its first steps into the democracy through the presidential elections in 2012. Mohamed Morsi, representative of the Muslim Brotherhood has won against the representative of the old regime, Mohamed Shafik. The Egyptians decided to place their faith in him, believing that he would lead them to change but unfortunately this was not the case. In the past year Egypt has faced a slope down in different aspects: the poverty and the unemployment have increased, limits on the freedom of speech remained, the economy was almost on the edge of death, no stability was noticeable in the streets etc. During this year there were many conflicts between Pro and Cons of the regime.
The Egyptians were fed up and that is why they used the “Rebel Movement” as their last hope, where 22 million signed under the document of “trust removal” from the president. On 30th of June the streets have reflected the anger of the Egyptians with more than 33 million people present in the streets protesting against the regime, asking for the resignation of the president, to freeze the new constitution and to give the president duties to the head of the constitutional court for a period of 6 months until the early presidential elections. At the same time, in the streets there were also president supporters who did not exceed 2 million people and who claimed that Morsi had to stay to protect the legitimacy and the Islam.
Along these demonstrations that took place all over Egypt, the army decided to give a last chance to the president and the government to respect the people’s needs and achieve compromise. But this was not the case since they ignored what was happening on ground and kept arguing that the legitimacy must be protected by the president who had to remain in power. After the ultimatum expired and after negotiations with representatives from different fields, including other Islamist political parties, the army has maintained all the needs of the Egyptians with respect.
But it is not over. Many of the presidential supporters are still claiming that this is against the legitimacy and the democratic process and they do not accept the army decision – they will be in open demonstration until the legitimacy is restored back to the president. Sadly, among them some extremists decided to use violence against the army, the police and the Egyptian people.
From the international perspective the United States’ reaction was unexpected as it was not clear what they want, except that they thought that what is happening in Egypt is a coup d’état which is not true, it is a revolutionary coup. Egyptians are furious against such reaction because for them the democracy is not in the hands of elected president who did not respect his promise and duty but in the hands of the people who know what is best. Additionally, there are some terrorist groups in Sinai from Hamas and other Islamist groups that are using the violence and are threatening the army and the Egyptians. They are demanding return of the old President and have already started some attacks against the army there.
Egypt is heading towards severe moments which might be turned into a civil war if wrong decisions are taken. Fears and worries are rising about what is next, is the army going to protect everyone as they claimed or are we going to go back to what happened after the 1st phase of 25 of January. May God protect our country.
Laila El Saedy – Egyptian, CII Collaborator- Graduate from Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University-2010, Intern at the European Investment Bank, Facility for Euro_Mediterranean Partnership- Expected MA In European Political and Administrative Studies-College of Europe- 2013.