Unholy Alliance

The news from yesterday’s alliance of 12 parties with the Muslim Brotherhood for a unified election front and a single candidate list came as a surprise to many, since the alliance included parties such as Masr Al Horreyah and AlAdl party. Masr AlHorreyah came as a surprise – or in hindsight maybe it shouldn’t have- because it’s Amr Hamzawy again jumping out of alliances and into other ones as if it’s not hurting his image or credibility. Just so we can keep track, Hamzawy was slated to join the Free Egyptian Party, then decided not to and joined the Egyptian Social Democrat party, and then leaving that and creating the Masr AlHorreyah party (which really doesn’t have enough members to qualify legally as a party), and in turn joined an alliance of liberal parties with the FEP, ESDP and the DFP, which it abandoned yesterday when it went and created an alliance with the MB. But since one expected the parties to join the alliance with the MB to be the old weak parties that were known to strike deals with the NDP to allow them to win a seat or two, and therefore ones that couldn’t win without the MB support anyway, like Eltagamo3 and ElWafd, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a party like Masr AlHorreyah joined up, since it neither has the street presence or the support that would allow them to win a single seat anywhere. The only reason why I am sad to see this is due to my knowledge that some really good and decent individuals are members of that party, and yet somehow agreed to tie themselves to a political albatross such as Amr Hamzawy. He is the only known name in the party, and is also their biggest liability. Badness all around.

AlAdl came as a surprise because it’s one of the few parties that knows what it wants, and can get it without anyone’s help. Chances are that they can get the 10% that they want in Parliament without a problem, and thus don’t require the MB’s assistance like the other 11 clowns do. However, the parties are claiming that they creating a national unity coalition, and as the party positioning itself as the centrist party in the Egyptian political landscape, it has to join such a coalition. On the plus side, it could also save them unnecessary hassle come elections time, not having to go in direct election battle with the MB. It’s political pragmatism at its best, and it comes from a position of power, unlike the other parties. However, whether the AlAdl members would like such an alliance remains to be seen, since a lot of its core members are the religiously moderate Egyptians, the type of people who view religion as an important part of their lives, but don’t want whatever the MB is selling. This could get risky.

The Problem with such an alliance is twofold. The first one is that it gives the MB too much power and influence over the next elections, providing them with 3 possible scenarios , all of them good for their purposes: Scenario 1: If the parties trust them, and they choose to betray the parties like they did in 2005 with tagamo3 and Alwafd, then they singlehandedly could eliminate all those parties from the next parliament and have more say on the constitution than anyone feels comfortable with; Scenario 2: If the parties trust them, and they deliver voter support, then those parties now become dependent on MB support, which means the MB will effectively control them to do their bidding if they wish to get re-elected again; and Scenario 3: The MB delivers on its support, and the other parties betray them once they are in power, then the MB will play the victim card to the max, talking about how the liberal and socialist parties can’t be trusted, and how they are the only true patriots because they gave up on more power in exchange of having a national unity parliament with all the political forces, which would erase the fact that they have literally betrayed the secular forces of the revolution like 5 times now. Just like the ill-fated alliance with the left in 2005, this is squarely in the best interest of the MB, and it’s rumored to have only happened because the SCAF told them they must do it, because the West is getting mighty uncomfortable with how Egypt is looking like now. Must keep up appearances of a diverse budding democracy, because the world wants a happy ending for that Egyptian Revolution story, and if the Islamists take over, we won’t get no funding or weapons. The Turkey Model must be adopted at all costs.

The Second Problem with this alliance is its intentions: The parties involved just want to divide the electoral map of Egypt, and divvy up the seats they will win from before the elections by having the other parties not compete on them and quite possibly having their people voting for the party running in that district. If this sounds like a good idea to you, then you obviously don’t understand democracy: Democracy is about giving people a choice. Multiple choices in fact. Competing visions and programs. If this Alliance happens in this intended way, with everyone cutting their piece of the parliament pie upfront, why even have an election? What about letting people choose their representative from the best of a competing pool instead of telling them “This is the national Unity candidate. Vote for him or we won’t have a national unity government. Don’t you want us united?” by creating such an alliance? Plus, Competition will allow us an elimination process that will finally declare the death certificate for some parties that have been effectively dead for years, and have no street presence or constituency and are nothing but a brand now, like ElTagamo3 or AlWafd. Those parties have survived by accepting whatever crumbs the NDP agreed to give them, and cartoonishly played the part of “the opposition” for years, and now is their time to die, or at least have a serious wake-up call. Such an alliance would negate all of that.

There is also the problem with execution of said power-sharing arrangement: How to divide up the seats? Will it be based on ability? Ideas? Presence? Historical weight? Ideology? How? There are 13 players in such an alliance, and if- god forbid- the other parties (The FEP, The ESDP, The DFP, and the Populous Alliance) also joined, you will have 17 parties and 444 seats. We know that the MB wants 30-50%, The FEP wants the same if not more, AlAdl is sticking to its 10% goal, AlWafd demanded at the meeting that they get 60 seats alone, which is 12%, so if both MB and FEP both agree on 30% each, that’s 60%, you add the requirements of AlAdl and Alwafd, and you have 82% of the seats. That’s 18% for the remaining 13 parties, and neither one of those 4 players will agree to any less of those percentages, and none of them represent the left. Can you imagine the in-fighting that will happen? Can you see how easily such an alliance wouldn’t work?

The concept behind an election is that there are a limited of seats in any parliament, so it’s up for the parties to represent their ideas and create ground operations that allow them to get as many seats as they possibly can in a free and fair competition. This alliance doesn’t want that. It wants a selection, not an election, and to rob the people from having a clear choice between parties, which is the exact opposite of what this revolution aimed to achieve. They can call it a National Unity government, a United electoral list, whatever, it’s still designed to rob the people from having any real say on who in the parties gets to represent them locally, unless it’s an independent candidate, and very few of those who aren’t NDP actually have a prayer in hell ‘s chance for winning such an election. It’s a bad idea anyway you spin it, and I am glad that the other 4 parties are not joining and I hope they stay this way. My only condolence is that such an alliance between leftists, liberals, centrists, opportunists and cartoonish parties wouldn’t last for long without crumbling under the weight of its infighting anyway. God knows that every decent person in Masr ElHorreya- except for Hmazawy of course- has been on the defensive ever since that meeting, stating that “no agreement has been formalized” and “we are simply just talking” to their enraged members, fans and friends. This will only get worse the longer this lasts. Just watch.

Comments

  1. استهبال علني

  2. Hani Araman says:

    Salafi party can get also get up to 10%-15% and align with MB and AlWasat. It would really all depend on what kind of electoral mechanism SCAF would choose. I can also see that this alliance wont work till election. Egypt would have all islamist parties (maybe with wafd for their 10%) united vs all others.

  3. Mohamed El Sharkawy says:

    It is good to watch the freak monster eat itself. I just hope that SCAF would see it that creating such a monster might endanger their comfortable position once the monster feels close to power. Remember the monster that Sadat created to balance the power….it ended up with his assassination.

  4. I still think Amr Hamzawy could turn his image around with a few well-placed ads with him and “Hamzawy!” from the melody commercials.

  5. Sounds like classic party politics to me. Party bigshots are maneuvering behind the scenes to garb as much power as they can. Doesn’t really matter what the people want because the ruling class knows better what is good for them. Its amazing how people will sell out to gain some power. As you said, this will probably all fall apart. All those egos, all that lust for power will lead to lots of chaos within the alliance.

    However, this may be just what the MB is counting on. weaken these people by luring them into the fold. Then stand back why they take each other out with backstabbing and infighting. Wait for them all to collapse in total humiliation and then be the last man standing. The MB has a strong enough organization to survive the struggle and emerge as the only party with the strength to win it all. And by bringing them all in to this alliance for a few months, it will rob them of the time they need to build their own organization and power base. Genius!!

  6. Apparently the meaning of democracy has escaped some of the potential candidates. Also apparent is the sly maneuverings of the MB. They know exactly what they’re doing and are skilled at this game.

    It must be very difficult for average Egyptians, especially those not as well informed/educated, to keep up with all that is happening. They must feel adrift in a sea of confusing information and events.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Mahmoud, you are still preaching to the choir. That silent congregation needs to hear your sermons. You know what’s happening; you have a clearer view than the silent majority. Somehow you need to be speaking directly to the citizens, helping them to see the truth, explaining it in a way that clarifies the bs. Is there any way you can do that? Do you know any editors/program directors/media people who would give you that forum to act as a liason between the people and the candidates to help educate?

    Got to trust that out of this confusion and game playing, something positive will form and the revolution will result in a better Egypt for everyone.

  7. Colonelsharm says:

    Can’t really take your words and analysis as a facts till I hear other parties you are accusing.

  8. Ahmed Fikry says:

    i think it’s too optimistic to postulate SCAF is taking Western impressions into serious account! i’m afraid the common fascist nature of both SCAF and MBs will finally win.

  9. off topic, but I have to ask: Where do you (plural) stand on the matter of Ilan Grapel?

  10. Colonelsharm says:

    Shame on those who thinks by putting other down they will step up. it was a coordination meeting and it was declared as so.

  11. Colonelsharm says:

    After Asking Dr. Amr Hamzawy about what SAND MONEY wrote, he answered: There is no Alliance in the 1st place! it was a coordination meeting as I explained. A badly informed piece

  12. Everyman says:

    Really interesting analysis! Thanks for your great insight.

    As for Ilan Grapel, if he’s an Israeli spy then Mossad has seriously downgraded the quality of their agents. This is a red herring, and yet it works again and again… Egyptians need to make it clear to the government that diverting attention from the real issues at hand using cheap tricks is no longer going to be tolerated.

  13. What a bunch of baloney…. We have seen:

    SandMonkey the Political Analyst,
    SandMonkey the Legal Expert,
    SandMonkey the Constitutional Expert,
    SandMonkey the Economist,
    SandMonkey the International Relations and Conspiracies Expert,
    SandMonkey the Lobbyist Extraordinaire,
    SandMonkey the Grassroots Strategist …. to name a few….

    I think SandMonkey should pick a topic he understands and stick with it. This is embarrassing.

    The irony is that if his analysis is even remotely accurate – that the MB would be limited to 30% and FEP 30% (a highly desirable outcome at this stage) – then actually this alliance would be a very positive thing for the country as it would ensure a more evenly distributed parliament.

    We can all repeat empty slogans about “free choice” voting all we want but in that case, the MB + the Salafis + other Islamists no doubt have superior organization, infrastructure and grassroots support for elections in September.

    Infact, at this stage, the “Turkish model” with SCAF putting hard limits on Islamist power is absolutely the only thing keeping Egypt from becoming Saudi Arabia or Iran. (In case you are wondering, Dr Mursi, the Chairman of the new MB Political Party, has said that Saudi Arabia represents the party’s future model for Egypt).

    So let’s stop criticizing everybody and everything and let’s stick to topics that we understand?

  14. First of all, I can’t believe there is such coincidence to have the same exact ratios that I discussed with a friend earlier. Monkey, I know you are open for criticism but I am here to completely agree with your analysis. The Islamist groups can never win in lists as their structures are better fitting the individual candidates system. And up to my knowledge from travelling around the country parties can easily make a list to win the majority of lists seats. I was shocked with the fact that some new parties are allying with the MB!! I barely can find these people using their minds or studying recent history at all. MB has usually gone pragmatic with no respect for their political deals. They are even used to put two or three spare candidates for each seat they seek, many times the other candidates are not announced. I think that is the strategy for them to compete for both the lists candidates and the individual ones. Assuming that they can easily win half of the individual seats, they can realistically compete for one third of the parliament. They should empower all other Islamist groups to do so as the independent candidates will struggle with all means. With such coalition the brotherhood will have candidates at the top of a unified wide front with opposition parties, this will let them compete for an extra one third of the assembly. They can easily and simply issue their weaker candidates on the lists, while giving the chance for other powerful figures to go solo in their Favorited game. They will assure that salafis reach the assembly on the two ways with them, as they previously announced they had complete coordination with each other.
    This gets me very disappointed with the current politics the new and classic parties are playing as they can be easily fooled to get a minority of around 15-25% MAX. at the coming parliament, while letting islamists enjoy a majority dream that has never been real before.

  15. abu Faris says:

    محمد الكذاب والاحتيال من القرآن الكريم

  16. thanks for the article

  17. Party bigshots are maneuvering behind the scenes to garb as much power as they can.joined an alliance of liberal parties with the FEP, ESDP and the DFP it is not good .

  18. abu faris says:

    الغش النبي محمد تمتص الخصيتين الكلب

  19. Marsh626 says:

    You’re trying to fight against your own population.

    Egypt is an extremely fundamentalist muslim country. Poll after poll has shown that nearly all muslims in Egypt are fundamentalists.

    Only the oppressed Christians (about 10% of the country) and maybe 9% of the “liberal” muslim population lightly opposes islamism.

    So a whopping 80%+ of the Egyptian population wants barbaric sharia law, war with Israel, persecution of non-muslims, gays, females, etc; and maybe about 20% at most of the Egyptian population wants a Westernized-style modern, tolerant and peaceful nation.

    And in a democracy, the government represents the demogrpahics of the country.

    So… an islamic theocracy was inevitable in Egypt.

    Giving imbred, low IQ, savage, violent, 3rd world muslim fundamentalists the vote was just a horrible idea.

    Islam has to be destroyed first. As long as islam is around, the society will continue to be depraved.

  20. Mohammad:

    Love your articles. I wish we met the last time you visited the San Francisco Bay Area. I want to ask you for two favors:

    (1) Tone down some of your language like the one you used for “Fuckin Hymen”. You can get far more readers skipping some of this language.
    (2) Read the website I setup about how the Muslim Brotherhood operate in America: http://www.insidemas.com and http://www.insidemca.com If you want Egyptians to know how the Muslim Brotherhood really operate, just watch them in America where they already have the upper hands.

    Aladdin

  21. I have heard a lot about this recently, thanks for your input.