Cairo's crisisEgypt needs democracy to fix its economy
For decades, the political influence of the officers’ republic, the military-sponsored political system that has ruled Egypt since 1952, has been unshakably stable. The officers’ political sway has survived the test of time because of their ability to operate in the political shadows of the state for decades. The defeat of Egypt’s 2011 revolution has given the officers an opportunity to assume a more visible role in governing the country and exercising power.
Quite ironically, the rule of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi – himself a military man – is becoming the most pressing threat to the 70-year rule of the officers. He is undermining the social contract that the officers forged in 1952 and that has arguably been the cornerstone of political stability in the country.
That social contract instituted an unwritten understanding in which large segments of society tolerated the regime’s transgressions against political rights in return for state-sponsored economic and social benefits. On a different front, Sisi is also excluding the old civilian bureaucrats, thereby undermining their commitment to the political status quo. And he has done a lot more.
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