THE landmark victory of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt presidential election has raised hopes that the largest country in Arab world will soon return to normality under a democratic government. However the new president will have to overcome numerous challenges on domestic and international fronts.
His first challenge would be to formulate a new constitution for the country. The ruling military council has recently issued a supplementary constitutional declaration to cut down much of the president's powers. It remains to be seen how much power the military would be willing to share with the elected leader.
The security and economic situation in Egypt has also deteriorated since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak last year. Police and other law enforcement agencies lost credibility among masses during their brutal crackdown against anti-Mubarak protesters. In the absence of an effective government, the crime rate has also increased across the country.
The prolong protests against the former regime also resulted in the withdrawal of foreign investment and closure of a large number of factories, badly damaging the country's economy. More than 40 per cent of Egyptians now live below the poverty line. Morsi and his new government will have to take urgent measures to improve domestic security and boost economic growth.
On the international front, Morsi has to tread carefully. While his voters will expect him to change pro-Israel and pro-US polices of his predecessor, the country's economic problems will not allow him to completely alienate the United States and other Western countries. In his first televised speech, Morsi pledged to honour Egypt's international treaties, a reference to the country's 30-year-old peace deal with Israel. However one would expect that Egypt, under Morsi, will be more friendly towards Palestinians, especially those living in Gaza.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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