With the exclusion of Mubarak following a major uprising, the focus turned to Egypt beyond Mubarak. Today, more than ever, Egypt is faced by not only huge economic challenges but also multiple political challenges. The protests which faced Cairo and other major cities left the country ravaged and in a position where the new government was unable to recover. There exists a clear political division in the country. The recently held referendum and consequent adoption of a new constitution has done little to ease the situation. The referendum itself was marred by low voter turn-out at only 33%. Egypt’s economic challenges are further worsened by the 13% budget deficit with IMF identifying a funding gap of 14 billion. A fundamental question then is, how did Egypt get here? Who is responsible for the current situation? Blames have been shifted from one party to another but who is really responsible?
There is a lot to the Egyptian situation than heaping blame to a single party. When the world backed the popular uprising in Egypt, it did so in hopes for a better regime, one which will not oppress its citizens, one where the interests of the citizens will be the top priority and one which would most definitely steer the country to economic prosperity. However, recent reports have been conflicting with fingers being pointed at the new regime. Trade unions have held mass demonstrations against the new regimes; claims were made of workers being jailed for striking and even the most saddening and are the economy which is shrinking by the day. So, should we blame the new government? Well, the truth is that while pushing for a change of guard, the then rebels, now the government failed to realize the magnitude of running the government and the likely challenges. This has largely placed in a myopic situation, one which they are finding it difficult to get out of.
The west and the world at large should also receive a portion of the blame. They blindly supported the uprising without considering the repercussions and the impact. Would there have been no other better way of changing the regime? Over 4000 factories were closed leaving thousands of Egyptians jobless, healthcare has deteriorated, infrastructure is at its lowest, yet the same accusations labeled against the former regime are still being leveled at the current regime. Did the World really anticipate this? Would Egypt be here if its were not for the uprising? These are questions the world must ask itself time and again. The world could have erred by supporting this means of leadership change. Perhaps a smoother process would have seen a more ready and able government take over, and things would not have gotten to where they are.
In general, the blame must be shared between the backers of the uprising, those who were involved in the uprising and the current government. The bottom-line however is that the past must be forgotten, and Egyptians must join hands and forge a future they will always relish.
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