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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 14/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Muslim Brotherhood is witnessing the perils of power. The unrest in Cairo, coupled with the clashes at Tahrir Square, is a grim reminder of an unfinished business in the process of transition in Egypt.

This time around the conflict between pro and anti-government supporters over a critical policy issue simply goes on to prove that the infant representative system hasn't taken roots, and people are not ready to accept arbitrary steps taken by the executive. While the spotlight of anger has been a couple of decisions by President Mohammad Mursi, at the same time it has apparently pitched the conservative judiciary against the elected dispensation. This is why Mursi's move to send packing the prosecutor-general following the acquittal of 24 people accused of attacks on protesters during last year's uprising is being contested on political grounds. The courts, which largely comprise of elements appointed by the yester-regime and supposed to be status quo oriented, are inevitably at odds in signing in with the revolution in the country. This slow pace of evolution on behalf of the judiciary has resulted in delayed justice - and this is squarely evident with the time that the judiciary took to prosecute henchmen of the ousted regime, including former president Hosni Mubarak, who has been sentenced to life. Even now many of the high-profile cases of corruption and misuse of power are pending to see the light of the day.

Surprisingly enough, the recent acquittal has coincided with an executive order from the government through which the president announced amnesty to all those who had been arrested during the uprising that overthrew Mubarak regime. This announcement was supposed to provide a sigh of relief to hundreds of people languishing in jails without an adequate charge sheet and trial to this day. But why a specific bench decided at this point of time to acquit officials accused of misusing their powers against the public is worth debatable. Irrespective of its undercurrents, it is quite unfortunate that more than 100 people were injured in the clashes on Friday, as well as destruction to public property.

Though the ruling Muslim Brotherhood has called for calm and asked its sympathisers to step back, the impression that is rapidly being created of a single-party rule is worrisome. With a mere 100 days in office, Mursi is facing a test of his popularity. There is no dearth of elements from the liberal and minorities who blame the Mursi administration of going solo, and not taking into regard the reservations and sentiments of those opposed to pro-Orthodoxy policies. The allegation that Mursi is furthering the political objectives of Brotherhood has to be nullified. A collective approach to issues of governance is the need of the hour. It would be prudent of the government to strengthen institutions and act in a reconciliatory manner, in the midst of the evolutionary process. The political turmoil in Egypt is, nonetheless, far from over.


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