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Eygypt’s Political Transitions. Summarize Political Developments in Post Mubarak Egypt and Identify That Country’s Most Likely Political Trajectory over the Next Five Years. What Do You See as the Major Forces Shaping

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Eygypt’s political transitions. Summarize political developments in post Mubarak Egypt and identify that country’s most likely political trajectory over the next five years. What do you see as the major forces shaping contemporary political development in Egypt?
Dr Jamal al-Din Hamdan, a renowned Egyptian historian, wrote in Volume 1 of his four-volume book Shakhsiyat Misr (Egypt’s Distinctive Character),
In Egypt the ruler is regarded as a God until he falls. He is above criticism, until he departs. He is the history and geography [of Egypt] until he is replaced by someone else. He always fancies Egypt as his private property, his hamlet or his larger village.
He is the state and the fatherland. Loyalty to the fatherland is synonymous with loyalty to his regime, and to him personally ... He regards any criticism of Egypt as criticism of him personally and, hence, an unforgivable treason. (Najjar, Fauzi 2008)
This has been the character of the state of Egypt from its earliest rulers, the pharaohs. In January 25 the foundations of this slumber

Tahrir Square and elections
For eighteen days, from January 25 to February 11, 2011, Tahrir was occupied in order to take down Mubarak’s regime, and over these weeks, the square witnessed many bloody episodes. On Tuesday, January 25, thousands of Cairenes responded to a Facebook call to follow the model of the
Tunisian revolution that had just deposed that country’s president and forced him to flee. Of the hundreds of thousands who gathered in Tahrir on the first day, most were either young or intellectuals or older political activ ists. After facing a high degree of police brutality, the protesters were able to claim some victory over the security forces, and they decided to return three days later on the “Friday of Rage.” Hundreds of thousands showed up in Tahrir on that Friday and encountered serious police brutality. After forcing the security apparatus to withdraw from downtown streets, protesters decided to occupy the square until Mubarak left. That same day, across
Egypt, especially in the port city of Suez, protesters clashed violently with police forces, and the security apparatus was forced to withdraw all around the country. In Cairo, protesters burned most of the city’s police stations, in addition to the ruling party’s headquarters, before returning to camp in
Tahrir. “We will not leave; he should leave” was their main slogan.
During the occupation, Tahrir was divided into a few areas: the central area, where all the tents of the occupiers were erected; the checkpoints at the six entrances to the square; the field clinics; and the front lines of fighting next to the Egyptian Museum. People of all age groups and all social backgrounds and comers from the countryside and the south of the country (Abul-Magd, Zeinab 2012)

Scaf, Brotherhood and other political stakeholders
Indeed, post-Mubarak Egypt has been an almost surreal collection of paradoxes and contradictions. As one Egyptian blogger facetiously observed in a post-election tweet: ‘‘[We have] a deposed government overseeing an election for a parliament with no power held under an authority that has turned against a people determined to make electoral history by electing those who say democracy is haram [prohibited under Islamic law].’’2 Moreover, since
Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011, Egypt’s transition has been characterized by two seemingly paradoxical trends. On one hand, successfully convening the country’s first freely-contested elections in many decades bore witness to the vastly-expanded political space of the new Egypt, including the proliferation of dozens of new political parties and a burgeoning, often rancorous, media culture.
Even established powers like the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s most formidable opposition force, began to undergo major transformations with defections along generational and philosophical lines. On the other hand, the transition has also been marked by growing instability, social and political polarization, and communal strife.
Such paradoxes can be traced to an even more fundamental contradiction that lies at the very heart of Egypt’s turmoil: the fact that the military establishment, one of the country’s most secretive institutions and the backbone of the dictatorship for nearly six decades, has now been charged with leading the transition to democratic rule. Perhaps the ultimate irony of the elections and the violence that accompanied them, then, was in demonstrating just how little had actually changed since the SCAF took control (Elgindy, Khaled 2012)

Morsi Ouster
In confronting the Brotherhood in power, the opposition, spear-headed by the newly born Tamarod (Rebel) group, has demonstrated a renewed vitality, and has managed to generate a powerful wave of protest that has sent over ten million people onto the streets all over Egypt. However, its mobilising capacity has not been matched by efficient political leadership. By accepting the intervention of the army against an elected president, the opposition has committed a grave political mistake, raising the prospects of a civil war, and putting into serious doubt one of the few notable gains of the 25 January revolution, namely the transition to an elected political authority. As I will argue in this article, this disastrous decision is the ultimate manifestation of an underlying structural weakness of the revolutionary process in Egypt: there has been a nihilist focus on resistance to the powers that be, an inability to articulate a positive vision for the future of Egypt, and an absence of any credible leadership to pursue such a vision. (Gerbaudo, Paolo 2013)
Regional Dynamics
Political trajectory post morsi and forces affecting outcome
“the egypt that witnessed scenes of joy and jubilation at images of dead bodies yesterday is not an egypt to which we should aspire, or with which we should be content,” wrote ibrahim negm, senior adviser to the grand mufti of egypt, on August 15th. (Roudhami, O 2013)
As for the military, it is clear that it is not interested in ruling Egypt. On the contrary, the reason Muhammad Tantawi and Sami Annan were forced out in August 2012 is likely due precisely to the military’s broad desire not to be bogged down with governance issues (unlike Tantawi and Annan). And the military doesn’t need to rule, as it by and large received everything it desired in the last constitutional arrangement, including independence from oversight of its budget, its own courts, and control over defense and war. The military will only intervene if it feels that its interests are threatened by instability in the country—such as what occurred with the downfall of Mubarak. If it feels that such a situation is again taking place, it will probably act. However, with a Brotherhood government in charge, intervention could come at quite a cost, as it would likely be met with a forceful and perhaps violent rebuttal from the forces that support the government.
In the parliamentary elections of 2012, the major Salafi political party, Hizb al-Nour, performed well, achieving a fifth of the seats. It is doubtful that al-Nour will repeat such success. The party’s leadership is now split; in fact, most of its leadership departed and started another party, al-Watan. There are also a myriad of Salafi parties now, so the vote will be split even further among them. Finally, the Brotherhood will likely fight even harder than before for seats at the expense of the Salafi parties.
The other parliamentary political force is not particularly well defined but is generally described as the “liberals” or the “left.” Regardless of these labels—which are labels of identity rather than ideas—this group performed rather poorly in the previous parliamentary elections. These players are now generally described as the “political opposition” and are identified with the National Salvation Front (NSF), headed by Muhammad ElBaradei—though there are still key opposition forces, such as Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party, that are not part of the NSF.
The National Salvation Front has become the group that misses no opportunity to miss an opportunity. The forces that comprise it could have chosen a single candidate in the presidential elections and would likely have won against Morsi and Shafik. They did not; they split the vote between Aboul Fotouh, Hamdeen Sabahi, and Amr Moussa. When the constitutional referendum came about, they could have organized immediately for a no vote. They did not; rather, they only officially pushed for a no vote approximately 48 hours beforehand. They also could have used the huge protests and disaffection against the constitution to deepen their base across the country; they did not. To this day, the NSF is still unknown, or is not trusted, by a majority of Egyptians.
Hence, while it is clear that the country has lost a great deal of respect for the Muslim Brotherhood, it is equally clear that most Egyptians have a lack of regard for the NSF. Indeed, as mentioned, neither the Brotherhood nor the NSF could mobilize a majority of the population for or against the constitutional referendum. The NSF’s latest move, in which it called for the downfall of the regime and trials for Morsi and his interior minister, was a politically bizarre but also embarrassing move—because virtually no one paid any attention to it at all. The NSF has declared that it will boycott the upcoming elections, potentially rendering the group even more marginal.

This discussion now leaves us with three other political forces to consider. The first are the revolutionaries, for lack of a better word; they are those that regardless of their political affiliation have been agitating for the success of the revolution’s goals of social justice, freedom, and dignity. They themselves have become divided into different groups, as while many have pushed for deep engagement with the political arena, others have become disillusioned. A number of these revolutionaries ironically operate within the second level of leadership in many political forces, such as the Dostour Party; as such, we may see their agendas come to fruition in the future. But for the moment, they are not a political force to be reckoned with.
The second force consists of the “remnants” of the Mubarak regime, which the Brotherhood often casts as the enemy that is holding it back from progress. While the deep state is not strong in terms of political organization, within the institutions of the state there are forces that still remain aligned in thought, if not in leadership, with the former regime. Many—not simply the Brotherhood—are concerned. The reality is that these remnants can only be dealt with through a consensus of political forces that provides the government with a mandate to enact serious restructuring and reform; otherwise, they will continue.
The third force is everyone else. People describe this group as “Hizb al-Kanaba,” or “The Party of the Couch.” Up until relatively recently, this portion of the country, which is probably the majority, was not deeply politicized one way or the other. These citizens were cautious about the revolution but supported the overthrow of Mubarak. Many of them are still at home, though some have opted to go into the streets as they have grown more concerned about the dominance of the Brotherhood. Will they decide to come out for the parliamentary elections, and will that make a difference? No one knows yet for sure—but if they do, they could cause quite an upset.
Thus Egypt’s political future is very uncertain, and too many have tried to predict it to no avail. The reality is that we are still very much in a time of transition and flux. What is clear, nevertheless, is that Egypt remains incredibly important and that the region’s—as well as the world’s—powers cannot afford to let it slip. In the meantime, the situation is likely to get more difficult. We must wait to see where and when the clouds will part. (hellyer 2013)
Maintaining the status quo (Egyptian army remains in power and has mock elections)
New fresh fair elections(brotherhood marginalised by majority)

Economic development, progress and prosperity have become part of what democracy is expected to deliver. Egypt is a good example of how a democratic process of free and fair elections may not deliver a "certain quality of democracy," especially with regards to human rights. The fact is that democracies, whether stable or unstable, do not necessarily deliver economic prosperity. Finally, the state's legitimization of the use of force and violence against civilians is becoming increasingly problematic and is leading to the demise of democratic values within many democratic systems. A process of democratization ought to be viewed positively. Yet despite the many underlying reasons that have led to this revolutionary wave in the Middle East, whether regional or global, democracy at its core is facing a crisis. The euphoria that the young generation felt as it stood at the forefront of the revolutionary changes has dissipated, and it is likely to further subside if the situation worsens. (Barakat, Riman 2013)…...

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