Elections Commence in Egypt

After the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, things seemed to be going well for the Egyptian people. There was no more mass rioting in Tahrir Square, and the leaders of the Egyptian Armed Forces, who had protected rioters from Mubarak’s wrath, immediately stepped in to fill the political vacuum. Most importantly, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and de facto leader of Egypt, promised democratic elections by September. However, while the western world breathed its first sigh of relief, trouble was already brewing on the horizon.

Egyptian Men wait in line to vote

On September 9th, after Tantawi failed to transfer power over to civilians via democratic elections, Egyptians once again began occupying Tahrir Square. Much to the horror of international community, Egyptian police and riot control made liberal use of force in attempts to dispel the riots. Since the ninth, at least 38 protestors have been killed and over 3,000 have been injured in clashes with police forces. Tear gas and rubber bullets have been the most widely used instruments in the military’s attempts to restore order and quell the riots. Largely in response to international and internal outcry against increased military power, Tantawi finally agreed to hold parliamentary elections. The voting process has already begun and the final results will be declared by January 13th.

To many Westerners’ concerns, the largely conservative population in Egypt seems more than ready to throw their support behind the Muslim Brotherhood in the hopes that the party can lead Egypt towards more traditional Islamic policies. This is much to the chagrin of the religious minorities in Egypt, such as the Coptic Christians, who are now being harassed by the Muslim majority in cities like Cairo and Alexandria. Many experts now fear that if the Muslim Brotherhood were to come into power in Egypt, the party would lead Egypt down a regressive, reactionary path.

According to the election results in Cairo, which held elections early, the Muslim Brotherhood has come out as the foremost political power in the new parliament. These results have set western news networks like Fox and CNN ablaze with speculations, both optimistic and pessimistic, about the future of Egypt and democratization in the Middle-East. One thing is certain however, the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining more popular support and power daily and will continue to play an important role in the political landscape of the Middle-East in the years to come.

–Mac Zech, Staff Writer

Posted by on December 2, 2011. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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