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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Egyptian politics

New government has big responsibility

Women participate in a demonstration at the  base for Mohamed Morsi supporters on the first day of Ramadan, the sacred holy month for Muslims where many will fast from sun-up to sun-down on July 10, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt continues to be in a state of political paralysis following the ousting of former President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi by the military. Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim head of state in a ceremony in Cairo on the morning of July 4.  [Spencer Platt/Getty Images.]

Women participate in a demonstration at the
base for Mohamed Morsi supporters on the first day of Ramadan in Cairo. Egypt continues to be in a state of political paralysis following the ousting of former President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi by the military. Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim head of state on July 4. [Spencer Platt/Getty Images.]

Thank you for your coverage of Egypt, and the column by David Brooks last Sunday. [“Defending the Egyptian coup,” Opinion, July 7.]

When starting a new country on the road to democracy, we need to remember the following: First, it is a long road. Second, free and fair elections, while essential, do not themselves create democracy. Third, all mature, democratic societies owe their achievement of democracy to a body of democratic laws developed over many years. Finally, a country starting on this road needs a starter package of law — we call it a Constitution — which will guide and circumscribe the actions of future governments to ensure that democratic principles are maintained.

It was ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s violation of the latter that led to his downfall. He stacked the constitutional committee so as to impose laws that he knew would not be acceptable to a large proportion of the country.

The new president now has the task of setting up a more representative committee, including Muslim representatives, that can come up with a solution that people can be persuaded to accept.

This is not going to be easy, and will require a period of relatively competent government for people to calm down. They are going to need all the help they can get.

Richard Tait, Mercer Island

0 Comments | More in Politics | Topics: constitution, coup, democracy

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