I am from the team that calls for electing governors in Egypt , we had enough for decades now from appointing governors since the monarchy time actually to be fair. Still the last crisis in Qena or rather fiasco to be accurate made me rethink again and ask myself : Are we truly ready for this important step !!?
First of all we are in a transitional period , we can’t move in to governor electoral system right away just after three months after toppling the regime if we want to make it right. We need legalizations and laws to reorganize this process, we need to know how we are going to elect our governors. It is ironic till now we do not know how we are going to elect our next parliament nor how we are going to elect the governor or what the candidacy conditions are.
If we are saying that we have to wait couple of months then you must unfortunately to accept the old system imposed temporarily : The civilians governors appointed for major governorates while military for border governorates and police for Upper Egypt. The best thing we can do now is to supervise the governors and their policies , we do not have any excuse this time. Of course this can be implemented perfectly through the municipal councils. Our political thinkers and laws gurus like Ibrahim Darwish and Tarek El-Beshary can work on draft law for electing governors from now so we can be discussed ASAP and approved in our next parliament. This is the first we must put in our mind now before we scream and tell the SCAF :WE Want elected governor.
Already according to some leaked news the cabinet and SCAF began to think in having elected governors , of course it will take time not only for the reasons above but also for the second reason going to be mentioned right away.
Second and let me here phrase here in a question to deliver it easier : Can we really have an elected governor in UPPER EGYPT !!? How can we have an elected governor in Upper Egypt with all its complexity where the big families and clans have the first and the last word and the whole society is armed. How can we be sure that the right man “ I will not say woman because I am realistic enough” will be elected fairly for his program and not for tribal affiliations !!?
The governor position is technically nothing for the big clans in Upper Egypt because they are the real rulers by the end of the day yet even if it is just a representation for the sovereignty of Cairo ,still it is a prestigious enough to have blood bathes there.
Some will tell me that democracy this tribalism problem but I will answer and tell him that governor “X” from Clan “whatever” makes a decision based on the law that will harm Clan “Whoever” , we can find ourselves in front of armed conflict between clan “Whoever” and “Whatever” with casualties from both clans !!
It will be one of the greatest victories and achievements of the revolution in Egypt if we managed to lessen the tribalism in Upper Egypt , I am saying to end it because even religions and laws failed in doing unfortunately but to return back the sovereignty of law above all. This is why we have to go to the south and to the listen to the people in order to avoid problems.
Egypt is not only Cairo or Alexandria or Suez or Delta , we got Upper Egypt with its complexity and unique social character and I think we all have rediscovered this technically in the past two weeks. We will be fooling ourselves if we think that we will a constitution and laws made only from Cairo perspective. It is enough the fatal mistakes the government made it in the fiasco of Qena starting with talks with the Salafists when the government should talk to the big families or sending Salafist preacher like Sheikh Mohamed Hassan when the majority of Qena is Sufi despite what was shown in the media.
I think the first step towards a real democratic life in Egypt based on the representation system in Egypt is the municipals election. Starting the municipals elections and the municipals themselves ,we will gain a real political experience. The municipal councils will produce a new class of politicians from the people and to the people who know the true meaning of representation and who really care for this country. We should press in making the SCAF and cabinet disband the current the municipals and hold new elections soon enough even before the parliamentary elections. Our political parties, activists and groups should go to the streets and encourage the normal citizens to run for the municipal councils if they want clean streets , if they want better electricity and water , if they want more green spaces in their towns and neighborhoods. The municipal councils will give the people info experience for accountability and transparency.
The latest thing in the Qena crisis was the decision of the prime minister to halt the activities of the governor for the next 3 months and the angry protesters have decided to end their sit in at the railways.
FYI the NDP and regime orphans still have got power in Upper Egypt due to tribalism, they were smart enough to play this game good enough and you must know Amr Moussa has left Cairo to start a tour in the South that will include Upper Egypt.