Monday, December 05, 2011

What happens next in Egypt?

For 30 years, Egypt has been a responsible player vis-a-vis Israel and peace in the Middle East.   Unlike other countries in the region, Egypt had the good fortune of a visionary like the late Pres Sadat and a good manager like Pres Mubarak.

I understand that Egypt was not a perfect country or much of a democracy but it was willing to abide by the peace treaty signed by then Pres Sadat and Israel.

Again, I am not going to defend everything that happened in Egypt.  I repeat that Egypt was a reliable ally in a region full of very irrational and unreliable leaders.

According to news reports, the Islamist parties are doing very well in the recent elections:

"The High Election Commission said the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party garnered 36.6 percent of the 9.7 million valid ballots cast for party lists.

The Nour Party, a more hardline Islamist group, captured 24.4 percent.

The strong Islamist showing worries liberal parties, and even some religious parties, who fear the two groups will work to push a religious agenda.

It has also left many of the youthful activists behind the uprising that ousted Mubarak in February feeling that their revolution has been hijacked."

What happens next?  We don't know for sure because there are still a couple of electoral rounds ahead.  Also, I don't see the Egyptian military giving up power easily.

Let's hope for the best but it's hard to see how religious fanatics rooted in the 10th century will govern in the 21st century and keep a peace treaty with Israel.

We spoke about this with Bill Katz of Urgent Agenda:

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