News / Middle East

Tahrir Square Looms Over Egyptian Elections

Elizabeth Arrott

Egypt's military rulers insist parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned Monday, despite unrest that has left dozens of anti-military protesters dead, and the center of Cairo in upheaval.    

A capital city convulsed with violence just days before the first democratic elections in decades might not seem ideal.  But some voters think the demonstrations will keep the transition from stalling.

Abdul Rahman Mansour, a graphic designer in the capital, says the people on Tahrir Square are making sure their rights are respected and the country moves ahead.

American University in Cairo professor Said Sadek agrees, saying the protests serve as a wake-up call for the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. "After the end of Mubarak rule SCAF has no legitimacy except obeying and meeting the demands of the revolution.  This is revolutionary legitimacy.  So they have to follow what is happening," he said.


View El-tahrir Square in a larger map

After days of excusing the violent crackdown on demonstrators, the SCAF Thursday reversed course and apologized for the deaths.   They, too, say they want to see the elections go ahead.

Potential voter Mohamad Abu al Alaa, said he is keen to take part, but only if it moves the country forward. He said if he sees nothing has changed and his choices are only those part of the old "corrupt regime", he thinks he'll pass.

According to AUC's Sadek, the chances people like Abu al Alaa will be disappointed are high. For the most part, the revolutionaries are not the ones running for office.

Photo Gallery : Tahrir Square Protests, Cairo, Egypt

He said that four forces have been competing for influence: Islamist groups, who envision an Islamic emirate; the secular liberals and the minorities, who he said want a modern Egypt based on human rights; and the remnants of the former government, who he argues "want to keep the booty they stole under Mubarak."

"And finally the fourth force is the military, the SCAF. Those people benefited from Mubarak regime and they want to keep their privileges.  So all those forces today are fighting for a bit of this cake, pie, and nobody cares about Egypt as a country," he said.

Which is why, Sadek argues, the demonstrators have already made a difference.  He says by using the only tool the revolutionaries have, protest, they are reminding those forces that the principles of the revolution must be upheld, or the upheaval will continue.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid