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The parliament and the Egyptian elite - Daily News Egypt

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The parliament and the Egyptian elite

I have never officially belonged to any political current. I never held a membership card for any political party, or even an NGO. I was, and still am, proud of being a journalist standing at an equal distance from all currents; I admire the behaviour of some and reject the behaviour of others. I was, …


I have never officially belonged to any political current. I never held a membership card for any political party, or even an NGO. I was, and still am, proud of being a journalist standing at an equal distance from all currents; I admire the behaviour of some and reject the behaviour of others.

I was, and still am, proud of being a free journalist and not adhering to any ideology, although I have always admired the leftist current, from which I launched my career as a journalist. I managed not to get involved with Al-Tagammu Party, one of the oldest and most famous leftist Egyptian parties, when I worked in Al-Ahaly newspaper, the mouthpiece of this party.

However, after both the revolutions of 25 January and 30 June, and with the emergence of fledgling young parties, I was hoping to be attracted by one of them to join. I hoped one of the new leftist parties would hold the trump card in the political marathon. Unfortunately, and in traditional leftist custom, this did not happen; the fledgling party experienced divisions and splits, similar to those of other new parties that ended up shrinking in their headquarters. I lost hope in the emergence of a new generation of politicians who are able to attract the patriotic youth’s energy that was, and still feels, lost, and did not find a path to engage in building the country’s future.

The parties preceding the two revolutions led us to despise political work, after the masks of their leaders have fallen in front of us. The parties of after the two revolutions caused us to lose hope in the presence of political currents with clear goals and ideologies for serving the homeland, as though the people had not fought and our youth had not been martyred for a better homeland.

Egypt did not become a better homeland; its people suffered more, everyone deceived us, the Brotherhood lied to us and broke all the covenants and promises to reach power, and after acquiring it they wrought havoc, and were about to hijack the homeland. The politicians and those who claim that they are the elite sold the homeland to the Brotherhood to get closer to the statesmen and those who have power and influence. These people are the same elite who sold to the homeland the notion of electing the Brotherhood, even if the people do not like them. After that, this elite declared that they had been deceived, while the truth is that they were well aware of the Brotherhood’s greed, and they were more greedy than them still in their hopes of controlling everything in Egypt.

Now, and while we are close to implementing the third entitlement in the roadmap, to have a parliament, I do not hear the voice of this elite, and I do not see the parties being active on the streets in an attempt to ensure the actual representation of the people. Everyone awaits the President and his demands. Everyone wants his support. Everyone deals with the people as followers who have no power or opinion or will. Even I almost believed it.You who claim that you know politics, and manage the country from your ivory towers, the crisis is that political Islam works hard underground, with people in hamlets and small villages, and is still gaining the people’s trust, benefiting from the increasing poverty, the continuing price rises, and the needs of the people who rush to God whenever their lives become difficult. In turn, they find their only option to be those who speak in the name of God. If we leave the decision to the ballot boxes, the next parliament will be almost identical to the parliament of 2012.

However, because I am quite sure that anything that will happen in the period before the elections will be for the sake of minimising the opportunities of those who belong to the political Islam current, I believe that the next parliament will not represent the people, but will be affiliated with those with political and financial influence, and those who follow power. The next parliament will be a tool to toy with Egyptians, like the media that uses every opportunity to praise the President and his entourage, and the businessmen who in turn gain more power and became lobbyists for their own personal interests in the face of the state, both people and president.

This parliament will not be a monitoring apparatus; it will not be the hoped-for people’s voice, it will not be a parliament chosen by a people who went through two revolutions to acquire salvation and freedom.

Those responsible here are the elite who betrayed their people’s trust, hoping to gain influence and power. The elite lost its bet and became prisoners of their lies; it did not maintain our respect, and it is not able to free itself from the trap of subordination.

As for the people, they have become the weakest party. Their first priority now is to search for and maintain their daily bread, while living under the assertion of the head of state that we have a long road ahead that requires sacrifices, as a justification to remove subsidies. We have witnessed unprecedented rise in the prices, and our economy suffers from a collapse that requires years to recover from.

And because the head of state took office in accordance with a contract signed by the people with no terms, and because no elite or media or any entity can hold him accountable and demand from him a clear vision for his future plans that are supposed to have a positive impact on everyone, I am left with no choice but to disbelieve that elite, and not to place any faith in anything positive coming from the expected parliament.

Emad El-Sayed is an Egyptian journalist and the Editor of Daily News Egypt.

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