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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Dec 8, 2010

The Importance of Democracy

Recently the British Economist’s report on the practice of democracy in 167 states worldwide for the year 2010 was released. Egypt ranked 138 on the international scale and 12 among the 22 Arab states.

Furthermore, the report revealed that democracy is not practiced by governments in the Arab world. The recent elections for parliament in Egypt and Jordan reflect solid evidence in support of the Economist report. Legal institutions (courts) issued an order to cancel the outcome of the election due to solid evidence of voting irregularities and fraud. For that reason, some of the major political parties like al-Wafd and the Muslim Brotherhood withdrew from the election. The election results reflect that the ruling government party “The National Democratic party” won more than 95% of the parliament seats. The national and foreign press reported that buying votes in Egypt and Jordan was widespread.

Al-masry-alyoum (12/4/10) reported that the Egyptian National Democratic Party spent more than 500 million Egyptian pounds on the election to advertise, bribe and buy votes. The report continued to note that recently Susan Mubarak officially opened 761 new schools in rural Egypt at a cost of 58 million Egyptian pounds. Imagine how many thousands of schools could have been built with the 500 million pounds that were spent on fraudulent elections. There are severe shortages of schools in Egypt that run into the tens of thousands.

The Egyptian society is facing a serious crisis in almost all walks of life and not only in education. In another international report issued by the Earth Center for Human Rights, the following stated: there are 48 million Egyptians who are poverty stricken and living in more than 1,109 poor residential neighborhoods in Egypt. These people are deprived of basic social, health and economic services. Furthermore, the report revealed that 46% of Egyptian families don’t have enough food to eat and 29% of children are anemic due to malnutrition. In addition, more than 9 million Egyptians have been infected with virus C. In addition, the report also included high figures of people who are suffering from diabetes, cancer, drug addiction and high unemployment rates. The major factor contributing to the Egyptian social and physical ills is the wide scale of corruption at all governmental levels, which has been estimated to exceed 390 billion Egyptian pounds per year. Those who are running the government are the corrupt business owners who are getting filthy rich at the expense of the vast majority of the Egyptian population.

The only solution to get Egypt and its population out from the dirty swamps is through the institutionalization of democracy. Free elections are essential. There are many capable and honest people in Egypt who have the talent, the knowledge and the capacity of setting the country on the right path for positive economic and social development. This can be achieved only through democratic institutions, where transparency and accountability will be the basic rules that will lead to the prevailing justice for all and not only for a privileged few.

1 comment:

  1. Is democracy the only solution