Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Muslim Brotherhood on the verge of victory (Part 1 of 3) | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The choice of Egypt’s ballot boxes should be respected regardless of the results. The Muslim Brotherhood should also be treated as a legitimate political bloc since it has achieved its gains through the ballot box, irrespective of other minor details or our personal position towards it. Democracy does not distinguish between ideological grounds and its results are are not linked to love or hate. Inevitably, these results ought to be accepted.

Egypt’s parliamentary elections and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood should be examined in light of the country’s current political climate. Several factors have helped the organization reach parliament. Perhaps the most important reason is its superior organizational and financial capabilities. The Brotherhood is the richest Arab political party and its branches in oil-rich countries and supporters have given generously for decades. These funds were invested in service, health and teaching institutions, benefiting from the lack of state services, especially in rural areas.

A relationship based on mutual interest developed with the inhabitants of rural and poor regions. In every village and location where state services are absent we find the Brotherhood. They also succeeded in transforming thousands of mosques across Egypt into political headquarters through a network of imams who were able to distribute thousands of tapes with their ideology across the country.

A second reason is that the desire of the Egyptian public to punish some political figures and especially those connected to financial and administrative mismanagement/corruption. This is why sections of Egyptian society did not care about who won but rather, who lost. They supported those it believed had the best chance in defeating those political figures, irrespective of their political leanings.

Perhaps the ruling National Democratic Party should shoulder the blame entirely for this problem. The attempts by some activists in the NDP over the past two years to “cleanse the party” and rid it of corrupt members, present new faces, speak a new language were only partly successful.

Traditional opposition parties which are suffering from old age failed to introduce new faces and continued to repeat the same redundant discourse. This contributed to the creation of a political vacuum which encouraged voters to ask themselves “We have tried these groups already so why not try others.” Perhaps the failure of a respected personality such as Khaled Muhyi al Din to secure his seat and the corresponding success of an insolent Muslim Brotherhood candidate I hear on a TV program saying, “the Tagammu Party have transformed their headquarters into a whorehouse” is proof of the real crisis from which Egyptian parties are suffering.