If you’ve been following the news at all lately, you’ve heard plenty about the unfolding drama, confusion, and discontent over the elections and the current ruling military council in Egypt. Here’s our take with a top ten list of disappointments, followed by an inspiring video that will remind us of the laudable goals and spirit that started this revolution.
10.) A revolution sparked by calls for freedom and dignity has resulted in governing options bearing no resemblance to freedom and dignity— an Islamist, a former regime crony, or the de-facto ruling power, the military.
9.) Egyptians themselves are not thrilled with their choices of presidential candidates in the run-off. The turnout in last weekend’s elections was reportedly much lower than in the initial round.
8.) After promising to usher in a democratic process, the military has instead pursued the keeping-power-at-all costs option: it has dissolved Parliament, and unilaterally slashed the powers of the would-be president, which would now be only a termporary position with no legislative powers or control over the military.
7.) The military has also announced it would appoint the 100-member body to draft a new constitution, giving it significant control over the direction of Egypt’s foundational document.
6.) The inspiring youth movements, who made this revolution possible, and who were calling for democracy, human rights, and freedom, have lost momentum and have been portrayed as foreign agents by the military.
5.) In uncanny timing, former president Hosni Mubarak was reportedly moved to a hospital in critical condition, and declared he had suffered a stroke and was “clinically dead” by the state news agencies. Other inside sources dispute this, reporting instead that he had a fall and is in a coma. The conflicting reports are merely adding to the uncertainty and confusion over the elections and the military’s motives.
4.) Gunmen took advantage of Egypt’s increasingly lawless Sinai peninsula to infiltrate the border with Israel, killing an Israeli civilian on Tuesday.
3.) Egypt went from living under dictatorship to living under military rulers who are acting like dictators.
2.) Results of the presidential elections were supposed to be announced today, but they are delayed until a date to be determined, due to reports of voter fraud from both candidates.
1.) The U.S. is the Egyptian’s military’s main financial supporter, providing $1.3 billion annually.
On a more upbeat note, let’s remember the urgent desire for freedom and dignity that drove this revolution in the first place, and realize that this spirit cannot be repressed or denied. Freedom must win out, eventually. (Yes, we really believe that!) Click here to watch a moving, passionate, and articulate speech on this topic at last year’s J Street conference by Egyptian-American columnist Mona Eltahawy at the time of the Egyptian uprising. She provides a sense of the values driving the revolution and its youthful proponents. With 70 percent of Egypt’s population under the age of 30, this group cannot be ignored.