Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the verge of the elections

At the end of the month, the first „free“ parliamentary elections will be held. I doubt that they really will be free.

Still 18 days to go and Egypt is drowning deeper and deeper in chaos. Bad news is a daily routine and sometimes I don’t feel like writing on my blog.

The Eid El-Adha feast has been used by the Muslim brotherhood to win over the big quantity of poor an illiterate population by distributing toys to the children and to sell food at 50% of the market price, mainly meat which many families can’t afford to buy.

Activists are publishing black lists with the names of former NDP members that nevertheless want to be re-elected. Not only former ministers, but also those of the present transition government have presented their best wishes for Eid El-Adha to ex-president Mubarak. “Flattering” is not an expression strong enough to describe this… Meanwhile, everybody has realised that only the head of the old regime has been cut, and the body is still wildly lashing about.

The SCAF has presented a document defining who should draw the new constitution and what should be its content. A cry of anger went across all political parties throughout the country, because the army wishes to consolidate its power. Civilians are continuously tried and sentenced before the military court. Some activists refuse to give evidence before the military court; one of them has been on hunger strike for months. They even tried to declare him mentally ill and admit him to a psychiatric clinic. Copts are being randomly detained and accused of being the agitators and initiators of the massacres of 9th October and consequently sentenced. There is still no independent investigation of the deadly events.

In the meantime, people are bashing their heads in Upper Egypt. The tradition of the vendetta is prevailing – not really a surprise in a country without law and order. A friend told me, that people kill each other for a stolen chicken, because of a donkey that was feeding from the wrong land.

To change my mind, I wanted to spend a couple of days in Luxor, however, I didn’t. Friends even advise against my travelling alone by bus. In addition, there too, fights are reigning between gangs and families. Tourists travelling in groups might be safe. But I don’t really feel like travelling there alone. The historical sites will survive and wait for me…

Hence, I stay in Hurghada, enjoying the sun, the clear sea and sit writing in the Marina about the difficult and longsome process of an Arabic country becoming a democracy.

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