Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Would Mubarak Do It? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

If only the Egyptian referendum on constitutional reform number 76 had not taken place; or had at least been conducted in accordance with the requirements of the opposition parties. Reform that does not acquire people”s consent will always be a source of political dispute and will eliminate stability altogether. This leads to the spread of weakness within the political society; a projection that is most feared for the future. Would this reform even be taking place if it did not serve a purpose?

The results suggest that the majority voted “yes” however, foreign bodies have declared the referendum incomplete and unfair. The government and official authorities are once again guilty for abusing their authority and eliminating the opposition.

I truly believe that if Egyptians had the chance to vote in a freer atmosphere, where candidates from opposition parties were able to compete, the Egyptian people would vote for Hosni Mubarak as their President once again. Despite his power, Mubarak is known for being forgiving and patient in comparison to both his predecessors and current opponents. I do not feel that Egyptians have encountered another man in the political arena in whom they can put their trust, and I believe that Mubarak would at least achieve the minimum 51percent required in an election.

Egyptians may not appreciate their country’s importance in the world; Egypt’s strategic location and large population has helped to spread its culture across the region. Throughout history Egypt has had a polarizing effect upon its neighbouring countries, with the simplest example being that of the coup d’etat of 1952, which impacted the entire region.

As the Egyptian army ruled Egypt, other military forces in the neighbouring countries sough to establish their own places on the map. It did not end there; when Egypt adopted socialism, fellow Arab States converted, and when Egypt eliminated the Soviets, their status and influence in the region diminished, while American influence increased as a consequence of Egypt’s relationship with the United States. However, the greatest change caused by Egypt, was its Peace Treaty with Israel, which brought to an end the official Arab wars.

Today, Egypt is responsible for the much needed Islamic movement, which has risen out of the Muslim Brothers group activities. This is in addition to Egypt’s influence in the rising hatred towards American culture, which is a result of activities of opposition parties.

It is argued that Baghdad is no longer the centre of influence within the Arab world. This is not merely a result of Washington’s war against the country, but has been the case since the fall of the Abbasid rule. There are reasons that stretch beyond the American invasion of Iraq that highlight the need for Egypt to lead in influencing its neighbours.

If President Mubarak wishes to leave behind him a positive legacy, then he should work to reform the political system in Egypt. There is real need to develop honest parliamentary practices, transparency and constitutionally protected freedoms.

If Mubarak makes a positive move towards political change, he will provide Egypt with lasting security. He would ensure himself a dignified place in history, and would undertake a leading role in the region, as the President who guides his people to achieving peaceful political development. If he could achieve such change, it would be more significant than the work of Mohamed Ali, Saad Zaghloul and Abdel Nasser.

There is a need for cooperation between the patient ruling government and the wise opposition in Egypt. This is the way to achieve a solid system that remains preserved and intact.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

More Posts