Egypt and Democracy

President Mohamed Morsi, the new President of Egypt, was democratically elected in a fair election despite receiving a mere 51 percent of the vote. His opposition on the street is asking for his resignation because of his religious inclination, which was well known before the election that brought him to power. Unless he breaks his oath of office, he should be allowed to finish his term. Egyptians have every right to press their elected officials to refrain from abusing their power and demand that they enact law to provide equal rights for women and minorities.
The new constitution was devised and approved by a constituent assembly that was chiefly composed of Islamists at the dismay of liberal Muslims and Christians who walked out. President Morsi rushed to national vote for its ratification without allowing adequate time for national debate and deliberation. The constitution won voters’ approval by over 60 percent in the two rounds. However, only a third of the eligible voters participated. The low turnout is troubling in a country that is politically polarized. The next milestone is the parliamentary election in about two months.
President Morsi, backed by the Islamist supporters, faces the government institution of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak who despises Morsi’s authority. The liberals on the street want nothing short of his stepping down. The old regime accuses him of trying to use the law enforcement to serve his interests. While the liberal Muslims scorn the old regime and accuse him of trying to implement Islamic Law, Sharia.
According to Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2012, Egypt discriminates against women and minorities. To address human rights issues and move forward, President Morsi must bring his supporters and opponents together. His Islamist supporters, led by Muslim Brotherhood Organization, could peacefully speak their mind and let others do the same!  His opponents could also refrain from reacting and remain peaceful.
The new Egyptian Constitution fails to guarantee equal rights for women, define individual rights, and balance the government’s powers. Egyptians could exert patience and give democracy a chance! They should allow President Morsi to finish his term. Meanwhile they could work together to amend their constitution for fairness, and elect honest legislators and judges who maintain balance of power, which could keep their government officials, including the President, in check. 

Dr. Mehdi Alavi, President
Peace Worldwide Organization

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