Challenges for Cairo

Tahrir Square, the bastion of Arab Spring, is still making noises. The forthcoming parliamentary election, due next week, has opened a Pandora’s box, and political segments across the divide are more bothered as to what will be the power status quo of the country.

The vibes that the powerful army is set to have a constitutional role in governance, and that too without a civilian oversight to its actions in the name of national security is an issue at polls. The military junta that is running the country is in the woods, as it seems to have lost the trust of the common man from Cairo to Alexandria that had reposed faith in them for ensuring an evolution after a quick-fix 17-day revolution that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak.

The political challenge in Cairo is of an evolutionary essence, and demands of all the political parties to sit across the table than propagating their views from pulpits and roundabouts. The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood and other rightist Islamist parties are in the run, and want to make an impact through the process of ballot is a welcome development. But it has been seen that such entities opt for an instant carrot and stick approach, and doesn’t seem to have a properly choreographed political programme to address the issues of governance that had been handled on an ad hoc and authoritarian basis for the last four decades. This is where organised units and groups such as the army and family-enterprises succeed in making inroads, as has been the case with Egypt for long.

If eavesdropping is to be believed, there are fears that the army could influence the events by holding the presidency in its writ. Such an arrangement will churn out a docile and rubber-stamp parliament, and virtually negate the goodwill that was generated on the Tahrir Square. Undue procedural delays in trying the ex-regime’s hunch men for corruption and transgression of power has already taken steam out of the initiative. People are literally getting fed up with the new order that hasn’t come to their rescue and expectations in terms of social mobility, economic upliftment and political empowerment.

The next week or so before the Egyptians go to poll is the timeframe in which the junta and the political stakeholders should strike an equation. Cairo’s spirit shouldn’t be lost in bizarreness.

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