Monday, January 23, 2012

Congratulations Egypt on an important tangible step toward representative accountable government

There are good days and bad days. Today is a good day.

In Egypt, the power to set and execute policy has not been taken from the pro-US military dictatorship, but a process has begun that has a fair chance of ultimately producing that outcome. The elections, after delays did happen and they were a solid victory for the people of Egypt against the dictatorship and its supporters in Washington DC.

Of course I wanted to have seen the pro-US military dictatorship fully removed from Egypt's political system by now. And of course the United States has been working to prevent civilian control of those aspects of policy the US considers most important. But while complete victory for Egyptian democracy and complete defeat for modern US colonialism has not been achieved, we cannot lose sight of the fact that Egypt on Monday January 23 has one sitting body of political power that reflects an honest attempt to represent the views, sensibilities and positions of the Egyptian people.

One of the jobs of Egypt's People's Assembly will now be to attain the political power that it legitimately deserves. The Muslim Brotherhood, whose aligned parties won the most seats, has issued a magnanimous statement, saying that it is working toward an orderly transfer of power and that representatives should look beyond their narrowly defined electoral constituencies toward all people of Egypt:
What happened is a major step in the march of the revolution. After just one day, full legislative powers will be transferred from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to the People’s Assembly elected by nearly 30 million Egyptians. This Assembly is the first institution to be established in a democratic way after the revolution. Those who wish to rush things should ponder and appreciate and give this event its due, and protect the democratic process with all the people who look forward to the day they recover full sovereignty, freedom and free-will by completing the transfer of executive power to the elected civilian authority and the drafting of a new permanent constitution.

Everyone should gather around major goals that achieve the greater good of the homeland and the people, their interests and priorities. Those who enter parliament should realize that they are not representatives of their own respective parties only, nor of their respective districts only, but representatives of the Egyptian people, the full spectrum of sectors, communities and leanings, with all their hopes and aspirations and their revolution ambitions, and join those endeavoring to replace corrupt, rough laws-of-the-forest with fair and good and balanced legislation, and to monitor the executive branch, so it stays on the straight and narrow.
I am ecstatic. I am as happy today as I was the day Mubarak left power. Like on that day, there is a lot of work that remains for the Egyptians to do. Like on that day, those who believe Egypt's policy should be set by Egyptians have adversaries, like Barack Obama, who would like to continue secret foreign control of Egyptian policy. But like that day, an important step has been taken toward Egyptian independence.

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