Major opinion pieces in Egyptian newspapers have debated a variety of topics that relate to Egyptian politics. Most importantly, most commentators have condemned the division and separation hitting the landscape of the secular power in Egypt. The success of the Muslim Brotherhood and the popularity of political Islam in Egypt has led many writers to describe Egypt as a ‘failing state’ rather than a ‘deep’ one. In almost all opinion piece, columnists hail upon liberal and leftist parties to unify efforts for better preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
On political luxury and elections
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
The game of elections requires effective on-the-ground interaction and activity rather than endless political seminars and conferences, argues Al-Naggar. The writer, who is also an ex-parliamentarian, touches upon the preparations of political forces for the upcoming parliamentary elections and hails liberal powers to unify forces against the rising tide of Political Islam. He notes that voters will not feel keen to cast their ballots for any random candidate who has not worked on strengthening bridges of trust with his community. Al-Naggar condemns how various leftist political powers squander time and money in meetings held in luxurious hotels without actively engaging in activities with citizens.
In times when calls for unification of liberal forces are highly required, the writer argues that most of the parties are not fully aware that proceeding with their passive attitude will result in similar defeat of earlier parliamentary elections. Keeping a careful eye on all developments occurring on the political scene while bearing in mind the citizens’ essential requirements should come as the top priorities for competing secular powers. Drawing his article to a close, the writer estimates that liberals will probably be shocked in disappointment in the upcoming elections, if they did not start taking effective steps towards unity and powerful communication with voters in their respective constituencies.
Who challenges Morsy?
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Addressing methods which the liberal forces are using ahead of the coming parliamentary elections, Qandil argues that the secular power in Egypt exaggerate fears of ‘Ikhwanizing’ the state. In his column, the writer observes that leftist parties have set their minds on the importance of fighting the allegedly increasing phenomenon of ‘ikhwanisation’ and strongly believe that their unity should focus on shattering the sturdy well-being of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qandil believes that the ‘Ikhwanizing’ of the country is still restricted.
It is clearly evident that many of the country’s vital institutions are led by Muslim Brotherhood figures or their friends. However, most of the ministers, except for the new minister of media and information, are supposedly independent from the Islamist group, in the writer’s opinion. He cites the example of Ahmed Mekky, the new justice minister, as a hope for genuine independence in Egypt’s judiciary.
Liberals’ fears and concerns about the growing trend of Muslim Brotherhood in the country is still justifiable in Qandil’s viewpoint. The writer then tackles the currently developing coalitions within the secular powers, namely newly-established parties of ex-presidential candidates, hoping these allies to create a strong electoral bond that is able to compete with Islamists in the coming phase. In an attempt to calm the worries hitting most liberal parties, Qandil recalls Morsy’s independent decisions while sacking the military’s top-notch figures to prove his intentions of maintaining a civil state. He also praises the president for repeatedly defending artists and intellectuals’ rights, despite impressions that being an Islamist president will breach the basic rights of this sector.
Not a deep state, but a failing state
Egypt is no longer a deep state, but rather a failing one, argues Al-Mahdy. In her analysis, a country to be described as ‘’deep’’ should embrace a unified ideology that brings together leaders of all the state’s institution on one solid ground. To elaborate, the writer refers to the Turkish state, where all institutions have their national and secular identity. As for Egypt, the writer argues that almost all bodies lack a solid ideology and have reached a deteriorating stage that hinders any probability of harmony and peace.
The increasing security gap manifested in thuggery and robbery that shake the safety of the Egyptian society can be the simplest evidence for why Egypt is hardly a deep state. Recalling the anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests of 24 August, Al-Mahsy criticises the absence of almost all police officers in any of the country’s villages or towns. She regards a country where its security apparatus fails to safeguard its protesters while practicing their basic democratic rights, is considered a failing state. Another signal of a deteriorating country is the malfunction affecting the taxes system. It has been a long while that Egyptian government still fails to impose the new system of accumulative taxes.
Moreover, the writer condemns the country’s ability to wisely distribute its resources. She condemns the excessive amounts of TV advertisements only in Ramadan calling for donations and funds for charity projects. Wrapping up her column, Al-Mahdy states that discussing the differences between a deep and a failing state is mandatory to sketch the steep road ahead of Egypt.
Moataz Billah Abdel-Fatah
The Ikhwanisation of the country or the government
It is expected that the recently appointed government and advisory council would both be Ikhwanised, but turning the entire country to be part of the Muslim Brotherhood entity means that a new authoritarian system is on the rise, Abdel Fatah states. Despite observations that the Constituent Assembly attempts to shy away from any Muslim Brotherhood interference, the writer still regards fears from Ikhwanising the constitution as understandable and sensible. Many are fearful that backbone institutions like the ministries of interior, foreign affairs and justice would be completely transformed to pure Muslim Brotherhood entities.
Others are more concerned with the probable negative impact that could ensue if ministries like media, arts and education become Ikhwanised. The writer argues that such anxiety draws ones’ attention to the fact that those who are assuming authority are not only leading the country’s institutions, but rather strategising long term plans to keep their ideology as long as practical.
The other alarming point would be the division striking Egypt’s liberal forces that hinders the completion of the democratic process. The final challenge dangerously threatening the future of democracy in Egypt is the lack of a proper legislative authority that balances a stable political scale. In the writer’s viewpoint, many complicated scenarios cannot be deciphered in the absence of parliament; therefore a constitution is urgently required to help resolving many conflicts flaring in the scene.
Abdel-Fatah notes that the current political stage is extremely perplexed to an extent that pushes analysts to think that the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in elections has come not only due to their excellent organisational skills but also thanks to the weakness of the liberal bloc.