The author has chosen to be anonymous for security concerns.
The situation in Egypt is explosive. The country is in turmoil. The latest crisis has been caused by its military general, who has refused to hold free elections since the military coup in 2013. For this reason, dissidents have been increasing against Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's regime. There are currently more than 60,000 political prisoners, including government officials, scholars, doctors, engineers, students, and even—children.
The lack of freedom of expression has exacerbated the crisis. If one tweets against the regime, they often end up in jail for years. The government controls all media outlets for propaganda purposes.
Further, Egyptians do not have freedom of movement. Checkpoints are everywhere, and one can get arrested at any time, anywhere, and for no reason. The government has deprived Egyptians of their right to lawful assembly. There is no political life in Egypt. Additionally, the judiciary system has been controlled by the regime, often politicizing justice to strengthen its grip on its people.
On January 25, during the first wave of the revolution, one of its main slogans was “SYLMIA,” which means “peaceful.”
The crisis requires a solution before it’s too late. Ruling with fear is not sustainable in the long term. Fear corrupts and begets more corruption. This crisis will explode in our face if we, Egyptians and our friends, do not resolve it.
One solution could be a “National Exit.” The National Exit is a win-win approach. It will be good for the army to stay out of politics and focus on its constitutional role of protecting the Egyptian state’s borders. The National Exit will relieve the police of its role in suppressing political dissent into a force that protects people’s right to protest and defend their security regardless of their political affiliation. The police must abide by the law and remain neutral. The National Exit would also ensure judiciary independence. This means that it would not be a political entity influenced by the executive branch.
Further, the National Exit needs to be agreed upon by all political parties, liberals, leftists, nationalists, and Muslim democrats. All these political forces need to decide on a mechanism to ensure the inclusivity of all parties. The following ten items would be the basic principles of the National Exit:
- National reconciliation.
- All citizens are equal in front of the law.
- Egypt is neither theocratic nor a military state. It must be a civilian state where the citizens are the source of governance.
- Citizens are free to form political parties and civic organizations as long as it is inclusive and democratic.
- Power must be transferred peacefully and democratically.
- Coups are unlawful, and those responsible would be considered as national traitors.
- The judiciary branch must be independent.
- The police must be neutral and protect its people.
- Non-violence must always be practiced in protests.
- The majority must protect minority rights.
As Egyptians and friends of Egypt, let’s not wait until Egypt’s crisis deepens. Let’s do everything we can now to create a peaceful transition from military rule to a democratic one. A democratic transition is the only solution to avoid an undesirable outcome.