Currently, democracy in Egypt seems to still be suffering from military intervention, political movements, demonstrations and Islam influence more especially the Brotherhood crew. Dating back to 2011, the Egyptian Revolution seemed to guarantee democracy to the people upon the resignation of the then President Hosni Mubarak. The dream is yet to be achieved. After the incident, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed power, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament. There was a glitter of hope that democracy in the nation would be attained upon the massive voting that saw Egypt’s fifth President Mohammed Morsi assume office through democratic presidential elections of 2012. There were massive celebrations in the country upon his swearing in and it was predicted that democracy in Egypt would start growing.
Looking at the current conditions, the predictions were wrong. 28th April 2013 witnessed the beginning of the Tamarod grassroots movement that sought to gather 15 million signatures to get rid of President Morsi. To some extent, a shred of democracy was demonstrated when they held peaceful demonstrations across Egypt. 30th June 2013 witnessed what the Egyptian Armed Forces termed as the biggest protest in the Egyptian history. The protest involved up to 14 million citizens under which some protested in support of the president while some were against his rule. A day later, protests continued and the police officers joined in to demonstrate against Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood headquarters was ransacked and looted leading to the death of 8 while the Egyptian army gave the President only 48 hours to resign from his seat.
The country endured violence from 3rd July 2013 when the army General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi made announcements that he had removed President Morsi from power. He had then suspended the constitution putting Morsi under house arrest while military vehicles drove throughout the country especially Cairo. The transitional government was formed afterwards under the watch of the military. Bloodshed continued to an extent of 80 people dying under the firearms of the military. The surprising chronology of Egyptian democracy is that, two years before, they had revolved against military rule. After they had elected a president democratically, most of them proceeded to engage demonstrations against him. From a neutral perspective therefore, Egyptians have to some extent used the democracy they have acquired to harm themselves. This raises a question whether the country is ready for democracy in the first place.
Egypt is deeply divided and the military led coup to remove President Morsi from power indicated signs of more bloodshed. The Muslim Brotherhood which has had a lot of political influence in Egypt is known for its capability to cause crisis in the country. Currently, the emergency law in the country allows the military to detain and remove to some extent ignoring the judicial process. The deadlock existing between the Brotherhood and the military rule seems to have handicapped democracy in Egypt. The interim government is minimally powerful to make any impact. The Muslim Brotherhood takes part of the blame for the turmoil in Egypt for they failed to establish, demonstrate and respect democracy for the two years that had in power. The current military rule does not seem to demonstrate any commitment or advocacy for democracy in Egypt. Two years ago, it would have been correct to state that Egypt was on its way to restoring democracy, however with the current crisis in the country, democracy is still way out of hand and the possible hope would only come from international assistance.
Arjomand, S. A. (2013). The rule of law, Islam, and constitutional politics in Egypt and Iran. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Egypt crisis stirs wide debate on democracy's hold. (2013, July 9). AP Online, p. 14.
Egypt's Morsi says military must focus on defense of nation, judiciary not meddle in politics. (2013, June 26). AP Online, pp. 2-3.
New "Egypt Democracy Compass' Shows Disturbing Setbacks since Coup. (2013, August 1). States News Service, p. ii.
Pace, M. (2008). A Tale of Two Egypts. Mediterranean Politics, 13(3), 439-444.