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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.

Jul 26, 2011

The Protesters Holding on in Tahrir Square

Since July 8th, protestors have been pressuring the military council and the prime minister to respond to the demands of the Egyptian public, which have not been implemented. This tense situation that has been going on for the last three weeks led to some new and positive changes. First, the military council announced the formation of a new judicial committee that will be responsible for drafting a document of basic principles to influence the direction of drafting the new constitution. This will be done after the election of parliament, Majliss il-Shoura and the president. Some hints were given by the military council about the proposed principle; such as the defense budget and that the future government will be a secular one. Such an announcement was welcomed by liberal political groups to limit the future influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in parliament. This group has already rejected the creation of the proposed document.

The declaration of such intentions came as a slap in the face to the Muslim Brotherhood strategy. Nevertheless, such a proposed document by the military council will contribute to the stability of the future constitution. At the same time, it will have an influential role for the military to play in the future secular government in Egypt.

Another positive announcement made by the military council is the delay of the parliament election until November to give various political groups more time to organize and prepare for election. This second announcement disappointed the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest politically organized group in Egypt. The delay will not be in their interest.

Furthermore, the military council refused to change the election law, as was demanded by 28 politically organized parties and groups. The present election law allocates 50% for individually elected groups and the other 50% for election by the party list. Furthermore, the old law that was created during the Nasser period allocates 50% of parliament seats to Egyptian peasants and the other 50% to laborers. This is a dysfunctional law that has been abused during the past sixty years and should be abolished. The 28 political parties are correct in rejecting the election law and the military council should respond to their demands. This tends to give the upper hand to parties that have the financial ability to support their nominees over others, especially the newly organized young people.

Another setback is that the military has rejected outside foreign observers at the upcoming election. It seems to me that the military council, even after the election in November, will continue to play an influential role in the affairs of the future secular government. Such a strategy will not sit well with all political parties, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, who will not have the political freedom to influence governmental institutions according to their political-religious strate

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