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  • » 09/19/2011, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Military and Muslim Brotherhood, dangerous players in the 21 November election



    The military’s silence is a worrying sign. The young people of Tahrir Square are too divided and disorganised to play any major role in the country’s political debates.
    Cairo (AsiaNews) – Egypt’s first post-Mubarak democratic elections will be held in November, the country’s ruling military council announced today in an informal statement reported in the media. Voting for the lower house, the People’s Assembly, will take place in three stages, the first on 21 November and the last on 3 January. Voting for the upper house will be held from 22 January to 4 March.

    Except for the days of the election, Egypt’s military has not said much about the new democratic Egypt. “No one has a clue about what will happen after the vote,” sources told AsiaNews in Cairo. “For decades, the military had the last word about everything and will do everything to back those political forces that are allied to them.”

    For sources, the military will not give up power easily. “Most of those on the council are former members of the old regime; for 30 years they were accomplices in crimes against the people even if now they want to make us believe that since Mubarak’s fall everything has changed.”

    Muslim parties are the military’s best supporters. Since July, they have stopped their members from participating in demonstrations and sit-ins against the military.

    The military’s decision to hold elections in November, so close to Mubarak’s downfall, was made to favour these parties against secular-oriented groups, which are still disorganised and lacking in visibility.

    “The young people from Tahrir Square do not have any strong group, and have split up joining a myriad of small parties,” sources said. They are thus absent from political debates.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is best placed in this election. In eight months, they have been able to reorganise and launch an effective election campaign.

    “Islamic parties in a few months have gone from illegality to being all over the place, talking about the government, economy, social mores and religious freedom,” the sources explained.

    The crisis with Israel has also helped extremists increase their influence. The review of the Camp David peace accord is widely supported across the country. In the coming months, this could become the battle cry for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, who have always been against any relations with Israel.

    Still, Egyptians are still very much divided and any prediction is hard to make. Sources said that since the revolution in Tahrir Square, the population has split in two big blocks: the middle class and intellectuals who are in favour of the more moderate Islamic parties and farmers, who represent the largest pool of support for radical Islamic parties.

    In addition, the families and movements connected with the victims of repression in Tahrir Square, who led anti-military demonstrations, are another major force. (S.C.)
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    See also

    22/11/2011 EGYPT
    Christians and Muslims in Tahrir Square want the military to quit
    Local sources say 400,000 people are in the square. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis are ejected from the rally. Police use tear gas against protesters. Hundreds are injured in clashes as protests touch Alexandria, Suez and Damietta.

    26/07/2011 EGYPT
    The chaos in ruling military council helping Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis
    Following clashes in Cairo on Sunday that left 298 people injured, the situation appears to be slipping out of control from the military. Ranking officer denies any rumours the Council wants to set up another authoritarian regime. For Fr Greiche, Egypt is in chaos and badly run. Many Christians and Muslims fear the country is sliding towards extremism.

    07/06/2011 EGYPT
    Egypt, after 60 years Muslim Brotherhood party admitted to elections
    Born after the jasmine revolution, Justice and Freedom aims to achieve 50% of the votes in September elections, despite the unfavourable polls. AsiaNews sources emphasize the clever campaign of the Muslim Brotherhood, to date the only ones on television, radio and in newspapers. Concern over Islamist drift of Egypt.

    19/07/2011 EGYPT
    Army slowing reforms to sink revolution
    The economic crisis is killing the ideals of the Arab spring. The military are against democracy, and refuse to hand over former regime officials to the justice system. More than US$ 9.5 billion in aid are still lying unused in state coffers. Sources tell AsiaNews that they fear the rise of a theocratic regime with the tacit agreement of Western nations.

    25/01/2012 EGYPT
    Tahrir Square flooded by people who want to continue the Jasmine Revolution
    Nagui Diamian, a young Catholic Coptic leader, talks about the youth protest a year since the demonstrations that led to the fall of President Mubarak. Thousands have arrived from all over Egypt to demand real change for the country, which is still in the hands of the military. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists try to monopolise the situation following their electoral victory.



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