Egypt’s Mursi: The Irony Of Democracy
Sir: The first democratically-elected president of Egypt, Muhammad Mursi was sentenced to death on charges of terrorism related to his removal from power in 2013. The death verdict was handed down under the nose of his erstwhile army chief and the mastermind of the coup that ousted him, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
What we are told by the West is that democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In this complex task of choosing the “right” person to represent the people, voter are not likely to make the perfect choice or be seen to have. But once votes counted and the processes are respected, the winner stands. Even if we don’t like his/her face or ideology. It is supposed to be a case of majority having their say.
In the case of Egypt, it was never so. The referees-led by Sisi and his Western collaborators- decided to shift the goal post midway into the match. It was a coup det’at. A democratically elected president was deposed, militarily, instead of getting him out through the ballot. What the actors behind it are telling us is: democracy is not what it is. Its rules can be bent, changed and adjusted to suit the interest of the powers that be. But in the case of Mursi, he has paid his dues by submitting himself for the process of democracy. The cries that his Muslim Brotherhood party was a threat to global peace and that its members are terrorists is just to give the dog a bad name to hang it.
It is clear here a glaring case of double standard. While the frontiers of democracy in the world are looking the other way as many sit-tight rulers in Africa and Middle East whose names and democracy can’t dwell in the same sentence, they are busy truncating the free will of the people of the Egypt. I think the notion of democracy should now be made to accept necessary ‘ifs’ and ‘when’. Something like ‘if any person ascends a political post democratically but his face and ideology are not in tandem with the powers that be, he/she won’t be made to enjoy it’.
This brand of selective and unjust democracy can only bring more chaos and unrest to the world.
• Abdulateef Abiodun, Lagos.