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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La voie du peuple, l’éditorial de Pierre Barbancey

by Pierre Barbancey

The people’s way, editorial by Pierre Barbancey

Translated Monday 22 July 2013, by L.O.S

In the months leading up to the fall of Hosni Moubarak, many commentators when speaking about the aspirations of the Egyptian people, with that hint of superiority, still evoked "the Arab streets", as opposed to the "public opinion" of our western societies. In the space of a few weeks, beginning 2011, it is through the streets that the people defeated their despot.

Throughout Egypt, "Out!" was the cry of millions, but appended always by: "Liberty, dignity, social justice." It is to this dignity and to this liberty that the youth, in the center of Tahrir square in Cairo, showed they wanted to give life, showing also that they would not forget their demand for social justice. It is what Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t realize, so sure were they of their strength, on track to making Egypt a new theocracy and applying the same neoliberal economic model on its people as the previous régime. The elaboration of the new Constitution has been nothing more than a denial of democracy, which has turned its back on the ideals of the revolution, while Islamists have led the country into a vertiginous economic crash. For Egyptians the toll is a heavy one: heightened living costs, deepening rates of unemployment...

All the witnesses and accounts from Tahrir square and other towns confirm: Mohamed Morsi was elected by default after presidential elections comparable to our second round in France, a non-choice—a Muslim Brother versus and an old magnate of the Moubarak régime. What Egyptians tell us today is that legality and legitimacy must not be confused. Though none of the millions to have signed the petition collected by the Tamorod movement may challenge the electoral process of a year ago, all condemn the Islamists’ betrayal. One sufficient reason not to proceed to the total lockdown of society, the most striking, is the fate reserved to women in the Constitution stamped and approved by the Brotherhood.

There is talk today of a military coup. Of course anything can still happen. The military took the reins of the executive in a more than controversial interim between the fall of Hosni Moubarak in February 2011, and the arrival of Morsi to power in June 2012. Enough to urge caution, particularly given the economic power of the army. But the opposition, as well as the great Mufti Al Azhar and the head of the Coptic Church, has sided with the statements of the army. Thus forming a kind of trinity further isolating the Muslim Brotherhood, just as the clamour of Tahrir square announced it on the evening of Mohamed Morsi’s deposal.

The interim phase that is now commencing, with at its head, not a soldier but the president of the Constitutional Court, will proceed under the strictest supervision of the Egyptian people. Moreover, the odds now are that the Muslim Brotherhood - financed with millions of dollars from Qatar and Saudi Arabia - will no longer be the sole major organized force to present itself in the coming elections. It remains to be seen if they will continue to play, as they say, the democratic game.

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