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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid