Polarization in Egypt and the Excluded Middle

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Nov 28 2012, 19:07:00

The confrontations in Egypt are perhaps all the more dangerous because both sides claim -- and I suspect believe sincerely --that they are on the side of democracy. President Morsi's supporters (the Muslim Brotherhood and others) see him as duly elected, and taking a stand against an entrenched bureaucracy and judiciary, much of which consists of Mubarak era "remnants." In fact, I suspect some of Morsi's moves are widely popular: firing the hated State Prosecutor,blocking the courts from dissolving elected institutions like the Shura Council, etc.

But his decree went beyond blocking the courts from interfering with elected institutions, giving himself powers with no oversight whatsoever. The overreach is the problem. And the Brotherhood, while correctly noting Morsi won an election, overlooks the fact that he did so with 51% of the vote (and got less than 25% in the first round. Not a huge mandate.)

His opponents, however, must recognize that while he has overreached, he does have a legitimacy they were unable to achieve at the polls.

If one side is taking a straight majoritarian approach to democracy: we won, so we get to make the rules; then the other side is taking the approach of denying him any legitimacy despite his electoral victory.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Africa:   Could Africa Blaze the Trail on Climate? (analysis)
South African Institute of International Affairs
3 July 2015

Ahead of the UN Conference of Parties (COP 21) meeting in December 2015, which it is hoped will deliver a universal, legally binding climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol by 2020, Paris is ... [read more]

Kenya:   10 Things You Need to Know About Genital Cutting (news)
The Star
20 June 2015

Nigeria recently banned female genital cutting or female genital mutilation (FGC/FGM). That is a huge step forward for women's rights. But what is FGC? And what does the situation look like elsewhere? [read more]

Africa:   What Stone Tools Found at Southern Tip Tell Us About the Human Story (analysis)
The Conversation
1 July 2015

Stone tools. Our ancestors made them, some people still make them, and many species of extinct humans made them too. For more than three million years, fractured pieces of hard rock provided past ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!