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Egypt prepares for democracy

February 17th, 2011

After several days of unrest, Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down from his 30-year reign last Friday and a transition of power to the armed forces took place.

More than two weeks of nonstop protest have passed and the Egyptian people are on their way towards a new government. Despite this situation, the transition isn’t going as fast as the people may like.

The coalition that formed the large protest, which lasted for 18 days before “Farewell Friday,” compiled a list of demands that were then handed over to the military on Monday.

President Obama praised the revolutionary movement, and offered U.S. assistance to ensure that “genuine democracy” can work in Egypt.

“Today belongs to the people of Egypt,” the president told the press, careful not to take any credit for Mubarak’s fall.

Obama went on to say, “What is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold.”

The most significant of the demands include that Mubarak’s party be dissolved and a Cabinet of Technocrats, or bureaucrats intensively trained in engineering, economics, etc., be created within the next 30 days as a temporary government.

In the meantime, a new democracy is being formed and the constitution has been put on hold by the military. Within the next 10 days, it will be rewritten to ensure that no one can obtain autocratic rule in Egypt ever again, thereby paving the way for democratic elections. The election is planned for later in the year and political parties are beginning to take form.

Rumors circulating that the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that calls for the creation of an Islamic state in Egypt, is pulling together a campaign to run in the anticipated election has U.S. officials biting their nails.

Their reemergence has sparked a suspicion among the Egyptian people who fear the secretive group will try to exploit the nation’s turmoil to obtain power.

However, the Brotherhood, which was banned under the reign of Mubarak, has recently promised not to field a candidate for president, but would like to partake in the forming of the new government.

Because Egypt plays a vital role in bandaging the relations with the U.S. and the Muslim world, the U.S. fears that the revival of the Brotherhood will cause the progress between the two sides to come to an abrupt halt.

The fear spouts from the large number of followers the Muslim Brotherhood has, which could potentially change the pro-Western views in Egypt.

This is not only a fear of the U.S., but one that exists internationally as well.

China has gone to great lengths to shield its people from the enormous protests that flooded the streets of Cairo for the two week span.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese authorities have blocked the word “Egypt” from searches on social media sites like Twitter.

Seen as an indication of concern, the leaders of the communist country fear that the unrest in Egypt could encourage similar calls for political reform in China. The country fears that its people will follow along the path of the Egyptian people and overthrow its government.