Egyptians Have Chosen Rebuilding the Economy Over Rebuilding Democracy


An interim administration is now the ruling body of Egypt since former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from office. The administration contains 34 members, including three women, three Christians, and members of liberal and secular factions. Although Egyptians see this as a beacon of hope, Islamists are unsatisfied because they are barred from the administration.

Proponents of the Mubarak regime are also members of the interim administration, hinting that the previous regime is attempting to reclaim office. The Egyptians ousted former President Hosni Mubarak from office in 2011, which resulted in Morsi becoming the first elected leader of the country in 2012. Nonetheless, Morsi was ousted on July 3 because Egyptians asserted that he only wanted to aid Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood. The interim administration was sworn into office on July 16, containing members from all Egyptian factions — except for Islamists. This, in turn, ignited the Islamist demonstrations and a demand for Morsi to be reinstated. Thus, progress is hindered because Egyptians might no longer care for democratization, but care more for the restoration of their economy.

The economy remains in shambles as the national deficit increases and tourism and foreign investments crumble. Although the populace might have desired quick results, the economy worsened under Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as the Egyptian currency decreased in value, causing inflation to skyrocket to 9.75%.

"The Brotherhood had inherited a shattered economy from the military-led interim government. In the 17 months between Mubarak's fall and Morsi's inauguration, foreign currency reserves crumpled from $36 billion to $15.5 billion — hardly enough to cover three months' imports," said Reuters. "Cairo owed international energy companies about $8 billion in unpaid bills, prompting gas producers to reduce shipments to Egypt, freeze investment, and slow domestic gas output."

To the populace, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have failed in rebuilding the economy. Egyptians assert that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood only sought to increase Islamist supremacy instead of fulfilling their obligations to the populace and country. Thus, although they originally abhorred them, bringing back Mubarak-era administrators could be the only solution for rebuilding Egypt.

"For over a year, the Muslim Brotherhood government proved to be incompetent. So we have to work with these experts from the old regime," said Ahmed Sarhan, an ally of former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. This is an opportunity for redemption for proponents of the Mubarak regime.

Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood might feel cheated because they were only given a year to rebuild Egypt, whereas the Mubarak regime held office for 30 years. The populace sought the democratization of Egypt through Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, eliminating corruption, and granting Egyptians more civil rights. Nevertheless, the populace saw multiple regions falling under Islamist control thanks to political machinations of the Muslim Brotherhood. Upon Morsi's dismissal from office, Egyptians have been skeptical of the Islamist faction and shunned them completely.

Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood consider the interim administration "illegitimate" and unacceptable. Saad Emara, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, informed Associated Press that Islamists do not acknowledge the interim administration as the official government of the country. Violence and deaths have increased as Islamist demonstrators combat supporters of the interim administration, with innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire.

"Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo's Nasr City district, said that eleven people had been killed in Monday's clashes — including overnight in Giza," said the Al Jazeera broadcaster. "Health officials reported that nineteen people were also injured."

Thus, the restoration of the economy is a necessity and primary concern whereas democracy is a luxury and desire that Egyptians hope to obtain. Unless resolved, the Egyptian Revolution will continue and drive the country further apart.