News / Middle East

Across Egypt's Political Spectrum, Compromise Elusive

Strong Egypt Party founder Abdel Moneim Aboul Fatouh. (Yuli Weeks/VOA)
Strong Egypt Party founder Abdel Moneim Aboul Fatouh. (Yuli Weeks/VOA)
Elizabeth Arrott
Egyptian Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to become the country's next president, drawing on support from voters tired of upheaval and domestic media that almost uniformly sing his praises. Now, it seems inevitable that  another military figure might become president.

The space for political dialogue in Egypt is taken up very much by one man. Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sissi dominates the landscape and, though he has yet to declare his candidacy, his supporters call him the nation's only hope.
 
Across Egypt's Political Spectrum, Compromise Elusivei
X
February 21, 2014 4:34 PM
Egyptian Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to become the country's next president, drawing on support from voters tired of upheaval and domestic media that almost uniformly sing his praises. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo on the seeming inevitability of another military figure as president.

Squeezed to the sidelines, Strong Egypt Party founder Aboul Moneim Aboul Fatouh finds that sense of all or nothing is at the heart of what is wrong with the country, three years after a popular uprising.
 
He says Egypt had a revolution and offered up martyrs for the sake of having real elections.

Aboul Fatouh believes the current military-installed government has made “real elections” impossible.  
 
He argues that in the name of fighting terrorism, the government is oppressing political opposition. What is needed, he says, is dialogue among all sides.

Inclusiveness is something Aboul Fatouh says he tried in the 2012 election. A former Muslim Brotherhood leader, he presented himself as a moderate independent, attracting everyone from students and housewives to ultraconservative Salafists, all while boasting an unveiled, Marxist woman as a political advisor.   

He saw no such inclusion in the presidency of the race's victor, former Brotherhood colleague Mohamed Morsi. Aboul Fatouh was among those who last year called for early elections. But he rejected the military's forcing Morsi out.  

He says the military claimed it acted to prevent a civil war, but only succeeded in bringing one about, with killings, ongoing conflict and deepening polarization.
 
Some see the problem as a lack of seasoned politicians to face up to the problems. Aboul Fatouh, for example, is an accomplished physician, but in the last campaign lacked what many felt was a credible economic plan.
 
Political analyst Hisham Kassem, who thinks Aboul Fatouh would only gain single digit support, also finds fault with a public - even one which overthrew long-serving autocrat Hosni Mubarak -- sadly comfortable with strongman leadership.
 
“In an authoritarian rule, you are always stuck with a lot of hypocrites, okay," he said. "And if Sissi tomorrow decides I am not running, they are going to look for the runner up and move their guns [support] there.”
 
If so, they may have options. Retired Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Annan has made plans to enter the race.
 
Aboul Fatouh blames not just military figures, but also the stubbornness of Egypt's other political parties.
 
He says politicians lack experience in the art of dialogue, acceptance, of gaining something and losing something else - the very nature of democratic politics.  
 
Even this potential bridge candidate has given up on the possibility of give-and-take in a country he now calls a 'republic of fear.'  Aboul Fatouh is refusing to run.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: PermReader
February 22, 2014 12:56 PM
Elisabeth, we sob with you and Obama!

by: Mabruk Al Husney from: Egypt
February 21, 2014 4:49 PM
why should Egypt "compromise" with a terrorist organization..?? it would be just like asking America to compromise with Al Qaida..??

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs