May God bless the souls of our martyr soldiers and innocent citizens, and may God curse all killers and funders of killers and saboteurs. Every day, we Egyptians become more convinced that we are in a war plot managed by major powers and executed by agents and traitors inside and outside the country who are targeting the country and people for destruction and bloodshed. It is an all-out battle where all vile and despicable means are being used.
The attack on our martyrs at the military police station in Mostorod is a case in point.
This war requires every Egyptian to be extremely patriotic and accept some sacrifice and suffering in order to stand our ground and win. Every day we are also convinced that a large segment of our political elite in parties, media, civic groups and professional syndicates do not understand the nature of the moment we are living, and are acting as if all is well. They move right and left, as if Egypt were in a normal and stable condition.
This disconnect from this historic moment full of threats and risks, and a political elite that is mostly removed from reality and the real suffering of the people, is itself one of the dangers imminently threatening Egypt’s present and future. Double standards, lack of reason and wisdom seriously threaten the roadmap and the process of institution building that will be accomplished through meeting two commitments: presidential and parliamentary elections. We urge our political and media elites to revise their positions and have more discretion and good judgement.
There are many examples. Most notable is the current exaggerated debate that has caused general political tumult on what is known as immunity for the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC), or the banning of any appeals against its decisions and viewing such decisions as final and binding. Many jurists and politicians vied to undermine the presidential elections law, especially Article 7 that deals with the finality of the commission’s decisions and is viewed as evidence and proof that Egypt has not changed yet, and that the law in the form decreed by President Adly Mansour indicates something is being concocted behind the scenes. Also, that the presidency dealt a fatal blow to the 2014 Constitution because it refused to make PEC’s decision open to appeal, according to articles 97 and 210, both of which dictate the right to appeal any administrative decision. Naturally, anyone who hears these opinions becomes glum and resentful and has much cause to be suspicious of everything.
Although Mansour, a veteran legal expert and eminent constitutional jurist, explained in a meeting with leading political figures in Egypt the necessity and constitutional grounds for making the PEC’s decisions immune to appeal, especially because of its transitional nature and senior legal composition, and also the requisites of current conditions and the dire need to complete the commitments of the roadmap on time, there are still some political party leaders who deal with the issue as an opportunity for political brinkmanship to win popularity at the expense of the roadmap that the entire nation accepted — except the terrorists, traitors, agents and killers.
Choosing our positions and path at this critical moment for Egypt requires us all to unite and reach consensus for the sake of the greater cause, namely confronting Muslim Brotherhood terrorism. Also, to restore political and security stability, and move forward towards building a new democratic and modern Egypt that upholds political, social and cultural rights. I believe after President Mansour’s explanation of the constitutionality of each article in the presidential elections law, political parties should drop this issue and look to the future. They should unite their efforts to guarantee competitive plural elections that are honest and transparent. May the choice of the people win without undermining or discrediting; it is a patriotic duty that is inescapable.
The second example is strikes by some professionals such as physicians, pharmacists, registrar staff, and workers at some public sector companies. They are demanding higher salaries and bonuses at a time when everyone knows that Egypt’s treasury is seriously suffering from a lack of resources and scarce revenue. On several occasions in the past, I made a clear distinction between the principle of a right and the ability to implement it by those in power. No one can oppose just demands by state workers and various sectors, but at the same time no one can meet all these demands at a time when the national economy is facing structural crises, routine upheaval and turmoil resulting from the absence of security, and all the ramifications of the transitional phase.
And herein lies the greatest dilemma. Continued strikes accrue losses for the already weak national economy, although it is this very economy that is expected to pay for higher salaries and bonuses. Bad timing of strikes by professionals also costs them overall support. Some strikers might timidly ask for better work conditions, which is their guaranteed right, but the question remains why demands for better work conditions were not made previously and today all demands are being made at once?
It seems to me that some syndicate members are steering some of these battles for their own benefit, in the belief that inciting such quarrels would be another opportunity for victory in the next syndicate elections, and make them appear brave while concealing their many mistakes in previous eras. Unfortunately, such artificial battles may deceive workers or the majority of them, in the hope they would gain some privileges, no matter how small, even at the expense of the homeland, economy and institutions where they work.