A Billionaire Revolutionary?
When Naguib Sawiris spoke of chaos and lack of security in Egypt last Thursday, he forecasted the events of the past five days: on Friday Egyptian demonstrators took to Tahrir Square, many protesting Deputy Prime Minister Ali Al Salmi’s drafting of a constitution before a yet-to-be-elected parliament has a chance to write one. The elections scheduled for November 28 are now in jeopardy. For five straight days protestors against the Armed Forces that replaced former Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak have faced violent crackdowns, with over thirty dead and hundreds injured. On Monday the Egyptian cabinet’s resignation to the military council confirmed for many that the ostensibly transitional military government seeks to quash civilian threats to its tenure. The military council’s promise, made Tuesday, to elect a president by the end of July 2012 rings hollow.
The crowd of protestors reached roughly 30 000 Tuesday in a swelling uprising that recalls but has not yet matched in numbers that against Mubarak over nine months ago, nor does it match the earlier uprising in avoidance of violence and optimism.
Is the current uprising another stage of the Arab Spring? Or has the triumphant spirit of the movement been deflated as revolution has given way to counter-revolution? The CIC asks three Middle East experts to respond to Naguib Sawiris’s assessment of the Egyptian political scene and to the events in Tahrir Square as they rapidly unfold.