JOIN US

Kinsman: Can the Egyptian revolution be counted a success while the Armed Forces remain in power?

By: /
14 November, 2011
Jeremy Kinsman
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

No way. Military subordination to civilian authority is a sine qua non of democratic governance. Tahrir Square wasn’t only about electoral democracy but it certainly was and is a cardinal goal. The successful opposition to Mubarak didn’t do it just to help the military dump an elderly leader who had become a loser.

But lasting arrangements need some time and preparation. Successful transitions to democracy from military-security rule have been “pacted” between old and new orders – Spain, Turkey, Greece, Chile. The Egyptian military is waiting until a Constitution is adopted and a President (with whom they can pact) emerges.

The military has serious institutional stakes in the Egyptian economy but more important, is a generally trusted guarantor of overall security at an unsteady time. So, the jury judging success should stay out, watch the military carefully, and wait until all the evidence is in.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Open Canada is published by the Canadian International Council, but that’s only the beginning of what the CIC does. Through its research and live events hosted by its 18 branches across the country, the CIC is dedicated to engaging Canadians from all walks of life in an ongoing conversation about Canada’s place in the world.

By becoming a member, you’ll be joining a community of Canadians who seek to shape Canada’s role in the world, and you’ll help Open Canada continue to publish thoughtful and provocative reporting and analysis.

Join us