It was really heartening to know that Egypt’s Military Council has announced the holding of general election in Egypt in October 2011.
The common Egyptians fought tooth-and-nail to overthrow the dictatorial Mubarak regime. And after that it was understandably frustrating for them to be under the Military Council. It is certainly true that the setting up of the Council was an inevitable decision, as one such caretaker entity was required to run the show till a popularly elected government could take charge. The common Egyptians also realized it, and accepted the development as a stopgap arrangement.
However, of late their patience was running out, as they probably felt that the Military Council was not sincere about holding general election at the earliest. They were not ready to wait for a popularly elected democratic government, their cherished wish, and their displeasure was oozing out through various activities and incidents. Now they must be feeling relieved and happy that at last the military council is going to hold general election, the occasion that they have awaited for so many days.
However, there is one issue that is preventing some people from becoming completely happy and relieved. The Military Council has barred international monitors from observing the poll, and has chosen Egypt’s judiciary to play that role.
I hope everybody will agree that it would have been better if the Military Council gave international monitors to observe the poll process. Probably the Council top brass feels that if international monitors observe the poll, then it will not be in line with Egypt’s national pride, or even sovereignty. But the Council should remember that if the election takes place under the supervision of international monitors, then its transparency and credibility will be unquestionable. Otherwise, people (both from Egypt and outside) might feel that the Military Council has manipulated the election, to ensure that its favourite party/coalition comes into power. Given the sensitive nature of the upcoming general election, if the elected government suffers from even a grain of credibility deficit, even then it can be disastrous for its stability.
So, I feel Egypt’s Military Council should change its decision and permit international observers to supervise the election. I humbly request Egypt’s military bosses to reconsider their decision in this regard. I also remind them that such a decision will also give a huge boost to the Egyptian army’s image.