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South 2 North

Egypt: A coup or a second revolution?

We discuss what the recent events in Egypt mean for both the country and young democracies all over the world.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2013 13:34
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No subject is off limits - Redi Tlhabi talks frankly to inspiring and intriguing personalities from across the world.

Was it a coup or a second revolution?

Whatever you call the recent events in Egypt, the freedom Egyptians fought so hard for did not taste as good as many had hoped. So they took to the streets, in their millions, asking for their voices to be heard yet again.

President Mohamed Morsi was toppled by the army, leaving some people partying in one political camp and protesting in the other.

From Chile in the 1970s to Pakistan in the 1990s, long is the history of military takeovers that were welcomed at first, but regretted in years to come.

So what does the future hold for Egypt and other Arab Spring countries? Why did the very liberals who have been pro-democracy turn against the country's democratically-elected leader? And what do their latest actions mean for other budding democracies? Is there a chance for free and fair elections?

On South2North this week, Redi asks what the recent events in Egypt mean for both the country and young democracies all over the world.

Redi asks political thinker and former head of South Africa’s Freedom of Expression Institute, Ayesha Kajee, what she thinks led to the events in Egypt.

"I think the expectations were so enormous, that when they weren’t quickly realised, quickly fulfilled, the majority or large percentage of the population started to get really frustrated, especially in economic terms," said Kajee.

Redi then asks Muslim Brotherhood activist, Sultan Yousef, if certain actions Morsi took, especially those that extended his power, were undemocratic. 

"I do agree with that, and he himself, Mr Morsi said that, 'I have done wrong and I have done right.' He’s a human being, he’s not an angel coming from heaven," says Yousef.

Writer and activist, Mustafa Akyol, draws a comparison between the political history of Turkey and Egypt.

"I live in a country where we have had four military coups over the past 60 years, and I know [the military] are not a solution to anything. They are actually the biggest problems in Turkish political history. So I am also very critical of the military coup in Egypt.

"Every military coup has some civilian support … The popular support only delegitimises the supporters themselves, who could call themselves liberals, I call myself a liberal, and I think they are making a historical mistake," explained Akyol.

Ayesha Kajee concludes that the leaders in Egypt need to come together and find a solution quickly:
"I believe there is a very real and present danger of a domino effect. I hope we don’t see that. I hope that that window of time that I mentioned which is rapidly closing, is still open enough for the various factions in Egypt and their supports both within and outside Egypt, to actually put the wellbeing of the Egyptian people first, rather than their political positions."

 

South2North can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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