Two years have passed since Egypt's Arab Spring and conditions within the country are worse than ever
In 2011, Egyptian activists staged an uprising to protest against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak (Al Jazeera). Two years have passed since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak’s regime and the Egyptian state is as unstable and unpredictable as ever. Most of these problems derive from the poor political institutions in place since the fall of Mubarak’s regime as well as a poorly informed Egyptian electorates inability to sway elections. The upper house elections in 2012 had a 10% turnout and the lower house has been nonexistent since being dissolved in June by the courts on the basis of unfair elections. On February 23rd, President Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood set an April 22nd date for fresh parliamentary elections. The main opposition party to President Morsi, the National Salvation Front, stated that it would boycott the April poll because Morsi had ignored a series of demands by the party.
Yesterday, the Egyptian court ruled to suspend the parliamentary elections, leaving the future date a mystery. This will likely cause a legal battle that will delay the vote and worsen political instability. Since Sunday, heavy clashes between protestors and Police in Port Said have killed four. The recent events within Egypt’s government are going to worsen some of the same problems that led to the fall of Mubarek: political deadlock, infighting among state institutions, a faltering economy, widespread protests, and strikes against the leading regime that have plagued the country for months. (AP) Polarization within the country will continue between the Muslim Brotherhood and opposition parties.
Jeff Goodwin argued in in his 2001 publication “No Other Way Out” that Revolutions were a response to violent, exclusionary, weak states. If this is correct, the recent violent clashes in Port Said, Suez Canal could lead to a full blown revolution and another forceful removal of an authoritarian leader in the very near future.
These recent events are important because they encapsulate the troubles faced by so many countries in the Middle East following their Arab Spring transition. Egypt is one of the largest states in the region and their economy is vital to all of the Middle East. The political uprisings have destroyed existing economic institutions and the leadership has been unable to stabilize the economy. Until free and fair election occur in Egypt with high voter turnout, political instability, party polarization, and violent protests will continue to gripe the country. Egypt’s transition to democracy from its Arab Spring has been a failure so far.
Defterios, John. "CNN." . Turner Broadcastin System inc. Web. 6 Mar 2013. <http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/10/business/analysis-defterios-davos-egypt>.
"Grim Tidings." Egyptian Politics. 02 Mar 2013: n. page. Print. <http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21572825-president-calls-early-elections-and-opposition-responds>.