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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid