|Morsi must be creative to extricate himself from the quagmire||
More than two years since the victory of the Egyptian revolution, the country is still grappling with chaos and uncertainty.
Many people have been killed or injured over the past few months in street clashes, and the government has been unable to bring the situation on the ground under control. Various groups, such as the liberals, supporters of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, and even some Islamists, have not let up in their criticism of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his style of ruling.
The current situation in Egypt strengthens the argument that there was actually no revolution at all and the country is still under authoritarian rule and still very dependent on foreign powers.
In a complete revolution, one group changes the entire system and establishes its legitimacy in the eyes of the people. However, the Egyptian Islamists in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular have been unable to gain legitimacy because other groups believe they were also part of the revolution and are trying to acquire a bigger say in the new system. And thus, Morsi has been unable to acquire the aura of authority necessary to lead the government and stabilize the situation.
Egypt is more of a Muslim society than a fragmented multi-ethnic society, and minority groups, like the liberals, the secularists, and the Coptic Christians, can never overshadow the Islamists in the political structure of the country. However, the differences of opinion among the Islamists have created an opportunity for their rivals to foment unrest and challenge Morsi’s rule.
The Islamists’ narrow victory in the presidential election also showed that they will have many difficulties in realizing their political vision for Egypt. Moreover, the low turnout for the national referendum on the new constitution frustrated the proponents of the new political system in Egypt, and it will certainly undermine the efforts to establish democratic rule in the country.
Morsi’s failure to properly address the popular discontent has also exacerbated the situation, and many of the people are starting to believe that the president lacks the willpower to realize the objectives of the revolution.
In light of all this, it can be said that there are more difficult days ahead for Morsi. He does not have many options for bringing the situation under control, and he is stuck in a quagmire. Either he must give concessions to the opposition or he will have even more problems in the coming months.
Ahmad Bakhshi is an expert on African politics and a faculty member at Tehran’s Tarbiat-e-Modarres University.
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