Egypt plunged deeper into political crisis just a few days before elections, as security forces attacked protesters and torched their tents Sunday in unrest that appears to be headed toward a second uprising, this time against Egypt’s military rulers.
Thousands of young Egyptians battled security forces for the third day in a row on the streets of Cairo surrounding Tahrir Square. The same place where the revolt that brought down President Hosni Mubarak and left the military in charge of the country.
Until the time of writing, more than 30 people were reported dead, hundreds were wounded, fires burned in the square, and some buildings were set to fire. Many Egyptians are worried that the violence would force a delay in the parliamentary elections while others are becoming scared of going to vote on Election Day for fear of more violence.
This will only benefit Islamist groups as their members have a religious motivation to vote for Islamic parties, dominating the parliament and enforcing Shariah on the country.
Several factors contributed to creating a feeling of vast public anger all over the country. These factors included:
- Loss of trust in General Tantawi due to failure to judge Mubarak in military courts or to put him in prison. This made many Egyptians feels that Tantawi is more loyal to Mubarak than to them.
- Failure of the government to set maximum wages for its federal employees. Currently the wages of many government employees are more than a thousand times the minimal wages. The delay in setting a reasonable ratio between maximum and minimum wages made many people feel that the Mubarak system still controls the country and a feeling of lost hope for having a better future.
- Lack of effective communication and dialogue between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the population of Egypt.
- Failure to punish the police officers who killed the demonstrators in the Jan. 25 Revolution.
- Refusing to put Mubarak in a military court while putting political activists in military courts.
The problem has become more complicated in the last few days when the dead body of one of the demonstrators was treated in a very humiliating manner and was dragged next to garbage in the street. The video of this inhumane treatment for a dead boy by security forces has created unprecedented level of public anger that escalated the revolt against the military all over the country.
General Tantawi’s statement to the public — as an attempt to end the crisis — has just created more anger among the crowds as he did not apologize for the killing of the demonstrators by the security forces.
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