A few days back the new eruption started when a group of victims of Mubarak’s tyranny and their relative staged a protest against the impunity of the former torturers. The significance of their demand is underlined by the fact that many activists have been sentenced to prisons terms by military councils while the trial against Mubarak is being steadily delayed. The police intervened with utmost brutality. Instead of chasing out the protesters their call for solidarity was well received. Tens of thousands came to their rescue engaging in battles with the police. Within a few days millions are back to the streets unifying around the central demand: down with the military council – a civil transition government to be formed immediately.
This pivotal conflict is, however, intertwined with a second one. For the time being the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) had maintained a changing but nevertheless comprehensive alliance with the military trying to hold in check the popular movement and its revolutionary core. Their rationale: The forthcoming elections will bring them closer to power de facto cutting out the revolutionaries. The parliament already by now has been conceived without major competences without the prerogative of forming a ministerial cabinet. To top this, the military council announced the postponement of the presidential elections and foretold a “supra-constitutional declaration” perpetuating their supreme powers in the name of a secular state.
As they face a major road block on their institutional march to power, the MB started to move against the military council for the first time since several months and even called for a demonstration. Until now they have been calling for calm and to refrain from mobilizations.
The strategy of the military seems to be the escalation with the aim to postpone the elections which would be won by the MB. So the MB pulled the brake and shifted back to demobilize the street movement. But they failed as their have lost a lot of credit for coalescing with the military council and purging is left wing involved with the movement.
The democratic and especially the revolutionary movement have only reduced interest in the elections as they were tailored to exclude them. The electoral systems provides for that those allied with the militaries, the big capitalists, the liberals and the Islamic forces can run and even the old Mubarak connections would get some seats, while the revolutionaries are doomed to be left with a few seats if at all. Thus many of them called for boycott.
The central demands of the movement are clear and increasingly appealing to the popular masses even the Islamic ones: end the authoritarian rule of the military council which must cede power to a civil transitional government. A constituent assembly should decide over the rules of the game before parliamentary elections can be held.
The elections as scheduled are a farce. First the military council must be toppled to transform elections into a step towards democracy beneficial for the mass of the people.
The revolution continues.
November 22, 2011