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Op-ed review: Youths and the army

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5-4 a

Six misguided groups and a surviving one

Ezzedine Choukri Fishere

Columnist Ezzedine Choukri Fishere wonders how it is possible that even though the majority of voters are made up of young people, they are not present in the political scene by running for parliament or the presidency. He writes that he found the answer to his question through seven youth groups.

The first group consists of the angry youths, who believe that any effort made is barred by the regime due to the return of the police state. “What democratic movement can be built amidst disfigurement, leaks, oppression and breaking of the law? With whom can we communicate after months of intimidation and scepticism of everything related to the revolution and change?” This group first requires a working democratic framework to be able to work, and refuses to work amidst “fascism”, citing that “young people are in jail”.

The second group is made of resentful youths, who mourn the loss of the revolution. “Which parliament do you mean? Mubarak’s parliament or a decorative one made to measure? You are asking us to return to playing within the system with its strict rules that do not allow anything but nominal objection. Our rejection of it was the reason change came, with the revolution and the violence not by worthless seats in parliaments. There is only the revolutionary way.” This group’s members await a new revolution that will rise up from the failure of the fascism.

The third group is comprised of those who do not do much, but blame others.

The fourth group consists of those who are politically active, but ignored. “We announced more than once our support of one campaign or the other, and we said that the priority should be given to certain aspects and that certain elections should come before the other, but they did not listen to us and they insisted on their oppressive policies which led us to this point in time.”

The depressed youths make up the fifth group. They look at everything as a failed attempt and they see no hope in the country, let alone the political scene.

Those who were willing to act but needed guidance make up the sixth group.

The seventh group is comprised of those who are looking for a practical way to make their political demands a reality. They have asked questions concerning creating new viable political parties and an inclusive political system immune to doubts and attempts to break it apart. They asked whether they should ignore the coming elections so that they can build a good base.

Fishere found himself unable to answer their questions conclusively. “These questions will lead you to the path of salvation,” he writes. He believes that the first six groups are useless and will be unable to achieve any political headway since they act like helpless people who were plagued by an unjust ruler. Fishere finds hope in the seventh group, which seems to posit the right questions that will eventually lead it to political success even if it takes a long time.

 

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The army that Hamdeen doesn’t know

Mahmoud Mosalam

El-Watan Newspaper

Columnist Mahmoud Mosalam starts the column by commenting on a recent interview of Hamdeen Sabahy in which he explained that if the people elect a presidential candidate from the army and he fails to achieve the people’s demands, the army might have to stand against the people for the first time in its history. Mosalam interpreted Sabahy’s statement to mean Al-Sisi.

He adds that this same explanation was given by some “revolutionaries” as a reason to reject Al-Sisi’s nomination.  Mosalam on the other hand finds the scenario improbable given that the army sided with the people in 2011 against their leader Hosni Mubarak. “The men of this great army believe in the ideology of siding with the people against any ruler,” Mosalam writes.

He also believes that Al-Sisi is part of the army and even though the spotlight is on him, “Al-Sisi reflects the stances, political orientations and beliefs of the leaders of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, as well as army officers all over Egypt.” He adds that the people should be completely assured by the army, which is “the creator of men”. He believes that the only reason Hamdeen and other people are spreading this explanation is to prevent Al-Sisi from running for president.

“Hamdeen’s words were an insult – unintended, I believe – to the Egyptian army,” Mosalam writes.  He explains that although the Nasserites supported 30 June and the army, they should not attempt to divide people now for election-related purposes. “Sabahy’s party, the Egyptian Popular Current, issued a statement saying that the army’s latest statement is considered an interference in the presidential elections which contradicts with the constitution and democratic norms,” Mosalam writes. He adds that the statement mentioned that Al-Sisi remaining as the defence minister was the best guarantee for Egypt and the revolution.

“The [members of] the Egyptian Popular Current have decided that Egypt should live in a revolutionary state forever or at least until Sabahy comes to power since they describe him as the lawyer and spokesman of the revolution,” Mosalam writes.

He concludes that Sabahy is experiencing some conflict between his ambitions of becoming president and between his realization of Al-Sisi’s great popularity. However, Mosalam adds that given Sabahy’s political experience, he will eventually make “the right decision.”


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