Morsi is a democratically elected leader in a non-democratic Egypt

Posted by Caabu on 03 Jul 2013

Morsi is a democratically elected leader in a non-democratic Egypt


Chris Doyle


The great challenge for Egypt and for other countries in transition is exactly that - they are in transition. President Morsi is a democratically elected President in a non-democratic country.


Nobody contests the validity of last year’s election. It was considered fair and free. Morsi is right to claim, as he did endlessly in his 2 July speech, that he has ‘legitimacy’ on his side. Removing him in any military coup would have major implications. It would undermine faith in the electoral process and trigger bitter resentment amongst huge swathes of Egyptian society. Many will remember the bloody years that followed the Algerian army’s decision to stop FIS from winning elections in 1991.


Yet this does not solve the challenges facing Egypt. The President has clearly lost the confidence of huge numbers of Egyptians. He has made mistakes and is seen as having tried to impose Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist figures into key positions. He may be elected but Egypt is not yet a fully fledged democracy. There are no effective checks and balances that are needed to underpin it. There is a lack of legitimacy, transparency and accountability in major institutions including the Presidency, the judiciary, the police, the army, the media but also the opposition.


The various opposition groups cannot escape some of the blame.  They appear divided and devoid of plans to address Egypt’s challenges. Some are pushing for a military coup believing this is a solution, but is it?  


The only way out, it would appear, is to achieve a form of national unity government whereby the major Egyptian constituencies are represented. It requires the politics of consensus not those of division. The costs of failure will be felt well beyond Egypt’s borders.




* This is the personal view of the author

You can follow Chris on Twitter on @doylech