30 October 2014   The political orphans of Jerusalem revolt - By: Daoud Kuttab

30 October 2014   Netanyahu humiliates Obama yet again - By: George S. Hishmeh


28 October 2014   Delusional Victory Holds The Promise Of Change - By: Alon Ben-Meir

27 October 2014   How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison - By: Jonathan Cook

24 October 2014   Uri Avnery: Muhammad, Where Are You? - By: Uri Avnery

23 October 2014   Ignoring the other side of the Palestinian story - By: George S. Hishmeh



17 October 2014   Why We Need International Recognition of the State of Palestine - By: Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi

17 October 2014   Uri Avnery: Decent Respect - By: Uri Avnery

16 October 2014   Good news for Palestine - By: Daoud Kuttab

16 October 2014   The Palestinian Refugees: Ending Their Lingering Plight - By: Alon Ben-Meir















24 May 2012

Searching for the perfect model

By: Daoud Kuttab
print     send by email

For years the Arab world has been searching for the perfect Arab democratic model. Progressive young Arabs want a Western-style democratic model, but older democrats argue that we have to discover our own model, not copy and paste models from this or that country.

Islam, of course, confused this search. Islamists appeared to want an Islamic model that no one could explain or point to an existing example. Iran was not seen as a successful model and neither was Afghanistan. Turkey was touted by some as a model, although the country is totally secular even if its current leader has an Islamic approach.

Egypt is poised in the coming months and years to provide all of us with a unique example. Egypt’s revolution that brought down decades-long Mubarak regime was made possible by non-ideological young Egyptians who wanted to participate in the political process. For a while, especially after the parliamentary elections, the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) seemed to have hijacked the revolution from the young people who had brought down the regime. Being the main opposition group for years and having had to organise underground gave the Brotherhood an advantage over the others, especially since the Tahrir Square revolutionaries were unable to turn their street power into parliamentary seats.

The presidential campaign has been a breath of fresh air for the democratic future of Egypt. While the 13 candidates represent a healthy plurality of ideas and programmes, the discussions and debates that have focused on the future of Egypt have been amazing.

While discussions and public scrutiny of candidates has been inspirational, the Arab world’s first-ever televised debate produced an unprecedented public involvement in Egypt’s future.

The television debate featuring the two leading candidates at the time went on for a whopping four hours and featured a robust and unprecedented political discussion that was followed by millions. As one would expect, the debate — even though it had many deficiencies — caused dramatic changes in polling results, proving that people do care about a sincere discussion of political differences between candidates.

Economic and foreign policy issues, along with citizen rights have dominated the general discussion up to election day in Egypt. Statements made by candidates are regularly challenged and they have been forced to explain issues and how they would handle a particular problem that might arise under their leadership.

Hardline Islamic presidential candidates have not performed as well despite the impressive gains made in the parliamentary elections, which weakens the argument that if given a chance Egyptians and other Arabs would overwhelmingly elect radical Islamists.

The presidential election has forced candidates to fine tune their position regarding local and international issues with local politics and the economy position grabbing the lion’s share of the public’s interest.

Of course democracy is not only about elections. Separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and freedom of expression are all necessary elements for a comprehensive approach to democracy whatever the governing model that people eventually choose.

Post-Mubarak Egypt has witnessed vibrant freedom of expression and media. Egyptians are demonstrating and protesting about all issues, sometimes to their own short-term detriment.

Newspapers have been able to operate without any interference and privately-run satellite television stations have become the leading source of information for an Egyptian public yearning for change. Ironically no solution has been found for the state-run radio and television with its 40,000 plus employees and no regulatory framework established for independent or community radio.

Egypt’s presidential elections are being watched very closely by friend and foe alike. The emerging democratic model that Egyptians will produce will most likely become a model for an Arab world longing for an end to autocratic rule that has left Arabs lagging behind the rest of the world. So long as the new model includes genuine power-sharing systems and a bottom-up approach to solving problems, the future will most certainly be much prettier than the past. Any attempts at reversing the gains made by the people of Egypt will not be tolerated by Egyptians who have started to taste freedom and democracy. The genie of democracy is out and it will not be forced back into the bottle any time soon.

* A Palestinian columnist based in Amman, Jordan. - dkuttab@ammannet.net



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

31 تشرين أول 2014   الشهداء يعودون للقدس يا معتز..!! - بقلم: راسم عبيدات

31 تشرين أول 2014   عودة إسرائيل إلى "جبل الهيكل"..! - بقلم: د. عادل محمد عايش الأسطل

31 تشرين أول 2014   المسألة الإسلامية في حاضر الوعي الغربي..!! - بقلم: صبحي غندور

30 تشرين أول 2014   حين يحلم عمر بالحصاد..!! - بقلم: جواد بولس


29 تشرين أول 2014   لندن وباريس ليست القدس..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

29 تشرين أول 2014   ذكرى مجزرة كفر قاسم – لا نسيان ولا غفران - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

29 تشرين أول 2014   مستقبل العرب والتحديات القائمة - بقلم: عبدالرحيم محمود جاموس

29 تشرين أول 2014   "أبو العبد والفلافل" في السياسة الاسرائيلية..!! - بقلم: بكر أبوبكر

29 تشرين أول 2014   قراءة في انتخابات تونس..!! - بقلم: خالد معالي

29 تشرين أول 2014   قراءة في انتكاسة "الإسلام السياسي" في تونس..!! - بقلم: راسم عبيدات

29 تشرين أول 2014   ما بين تركيا وداعش تحالف موضوعي لمشروع فاشل..!! - بقلم: حمدان الضميري

29 تشرين أول 2014   إن كنت تريد النور: حق المؤلف والأمان الإنساني - بقلم: د. فيحاء عبد الهادي


28 تشرين أول 2014   جائزة واحدة وثلاثة فائزين..!! - بقلم: د. عادل محمد عايش الأسطل








4 اّب 2014   الأنفاق - وليس الصواريخ - سلاح حماس الأخطر ضد إسرائيل - بقلم: د. إبراهيم فؤاد عباس

4 اّب 2014   من قصص النازحين في غزة..!! - بقلم: مصطفى إبراهيم




27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


31 تشرين أول 2014   ونجحت "دورة ابي تمام الطائي الثقافية" في مراكش..!! - بقلم: عبدالله القاق

26 تشرين أول 2014   الزكيّ في المسجد الأقصى..!! - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

20 تشرين أول 2014   أيام الماء.. عن الطفولة والشباب - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

15 تشرين أول 2014   قبائل النار..!! - بقلم: حسن العاصي

14 تشرين أول 2014   هل نخجل..؟! - بقلم: عبدالرحيم محمود جاموس


8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2014- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية