Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The return of politics to Egypt

For decades public space in Egypt was depoliticized.  Even the wisp of a demonstration invited suppression and thuggery by the government.  Now, after the ignominious departure of Hosni Mubarak, public space has been repoliticized.  This is a healthy development that the Muslim Brotherhood did not anticipate.  Instead, the Brothers, and not least President Muhammad Mursi, expected that a thankful but quiescent public would take them at their word.  Of course, Mursi's opponents are opportunistically seizing the moment to achieve through protests what they utterly failed to win through elections, but that is the nature of competitive political environment in which the right to (peacefully) protest is fundamental.

The judges, and particularly the Judges Club, have taken a leading role in opposing Mursi, and some of the senior judges remain beacons of integrity, but it needs to be underlined that the judiciary of Egypt is overdue for reform, especially after the corrupting years of Mubarak's rule.

There will be a compromise in the coming days.  Meantime, politics have returned to Egypt.

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