With the election of former Egyptian Army Chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who won with a thumping majority, the revolution charade in Egypt has come full circle. What started with the Jasmine Revolution of 2011, which saw the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood to power and its aftermath, has resulted in the rise of Gen Sisi to the seat of power. All this while Egypt gained little and lost hundreds of precious lives. Too soon have the chants of democracy and freedom vanished into thin air as Egyptians have welcomed their new ruler, another army man. What does this prove? A growing disenchantment with democracy, some would say. But the problem is much deeper than that. It is the failure of successive rulers to take the path of moderation. While some crossed every limit in secularizing the country, others preferred to Islamize it without taking into consideration the reservations and rights of the minorities.
Sisi’s victory can also be a precursor to a dangerous tendency: an unexplainable fascination with the military. This is a not a new phenomenon. Nations that suffer extended military rule are likely to accept their condition – and rulers – and may even start to like them. However, the situation seems implausible in Egypt’s case where hundreds of thousands of the masses gathered at the Tahrir Square to topple a military ruler. Here is hoping that the people of Egypt are actually trying different rulers to see who is the best to steer the country towards the right path.
Jubail, Saudi Arabia