Aboul Fotouh, Mursi and dictatorship of the majority
Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is an Islamist, a member of the Brotherhood and major political leader in Egypt, was not afraid to say in his speech the right words in these difficult times in Egypt.
He said he was against ousting President Muhammed Mursi because the majority elected him. At the same time, he is against the tyranny of the president no matter who he was, adding that the president could only be protected by the Egyptian people who elected him.
He also said that the presidential palace belongs to the people and does not belong to anyone in particular, neither the president nor the Brotherhood. He called upon President Mursi to be the president of all Egyptians because, thanks to them, he is now sitting on the presidential chair.
There are other Islamists who are also against Mursi in the current crisis and therefore the issue is not between Islamists and others, but purely a political conflict.
Although the dispute is on key issues, such as the constitution and the judiciary, the differences are resolvable, by amending certain paragraphs of the constitution and by reversing the presidential declaration intending to revoke it. The reason for the failure to reconcile is either because the presidency or the opposition forces do not want a solution, or do not have conflict management skills.
Perhaps what is wrong is poor communication between the two camps in addition to the existence of a crisis of confidence between the two sides. Each is claiming that the other side wants to overpower it.
It seems that President Mursi’s real problem is not opposition forces, but his party, the Brotherhood, which with time, illustrated its management of the presidency and to interfere in its decisions.
The depth of the crisis was compounded when the Brotherhood leader claimed that there was a conspiracy against them internally and externally, which is an old style of escaping the reality of the crisis. It is also clear that Mursi realized too late that his predicament was that the presidential declaration was attributed to him, because he knows very well that it is illegal and completely contradicts the two main pillars of the oath to respect the separation of power and accountability.
He collaborated the authority of Parliament and the presidency, wanted the annexation of the judiciary, and then announced that presidential decisions have the status of infallibility, neither to be denounced nor punished.
He probably realized the terrible mistake committed after the streets were flooded with protesters raging against him. He wanted to retreat, declaring his readiness to cancel what he did, as long as approval of the constitution occurred within two months. But in his haste trying to fix the error, he committed another error to cook the constitution within two days — not two months — to retract the Presidential Proclamation.
How could he trivialize the task? The constitution is lifelong contract, so it is not reasonable to impose changes on society. It should be assumed that it is the legal reference and the guarantor of the legitimate rights of all of Copts, Islamists and other political forces, whether a majority or a minority. The concept of the majority is often misinterpreted, as we see in Egypt, Tunisia and others. The right of the majority is to run the government — if it wins, but not to discipline everyone. There is a wide difference between government and governing.
For example, the white majority in Britain, Germany or the United States can neither restore slavery nor deprive women of the same rights as men. And though they are mainly Christian, they cannot impose their religious laws on Jewish or Muslim minorities.
A majority can change the management of public affairs according to a fixed system, and the constitution is the solid thing that supposedly gives everyone the same rights. Here lies the difference between fascism and democracy, as the majority manages the affairs of the state as part of a system based on the balance of powers, and in accordance with laws that protect minorities and all the forces that make up the community.
The Egyptian crisis is descending rapidly and dangerously into an abyss, although the differences between the presidency and the opposition are not that great, either in terms of constitutional disputes, or in the practices of the president. The whole subject is approachable with some corrections and compromises, but as you can see, people’s hearts are full with disappointment, uncertainties and suspicions about intentions. Here comes the role of effective men such as Aboul Fatouh to mediate between the two sides and to rectify the president’s decisions.