Empty rhetoric

EGYPT HAS become a country where officials give lengthy speeches on state television that are rarely heeded by the dissident masses. To the angry, protest-prone crowds at Tahrir, the words of their leaders appear nothing more than empty rhetoric.

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Published: Sun 21 Jul 2013, 12:50 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:46 AM

But the leaders have still not realised this reality. The country new interim prime minister Adli Mansour has given a speech in which he has reiterated his government’s commitment to securing peace and stability. He also said that some forces in the country wanted a “bloody path.” As Mansour stood rigidly on a podium, in front of the Egyptian flag, addressing his restless nation, his speech was reminder of the several speeches that have been made by Egyptian leaders in the past. Just weeks ago, deposed president Mohammed Mursi had addressed the nation — days before completing a year of his presidential tenure — and had made similar commitments to stabilising the country and had accused “enemies of Egypt” for sabotaging democracy.

Subsequently, Mursi was deposed by the army after mass protests demanding his resignation hit Egypt. And then it was turn of the army chief, Gen Abdul Fattah Al Sisi, to address the nation and explain the reasons for ousting Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

But the dissent that is brewing on Egypt’s streets will not be quelled by rhetoric and verbal assurances, neither will be the polarisation of the nation be lessen. There is no good that is coming out of television speeches because Egypt is in a state of dire crisis and its people have unrealistically high expectations from democracy. Moreover, deep ideological divisions among the Egyptians have made any sort of political reconciliation impossible in the country. The best thing for the government to do would be to concentrate on ensuring security and resurrecting the economy as soon as possible to placate the perpetually angry masses.

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