Protect our courthouses!

Criticism directed to our security authorities

During the last few days, I watched with dismay as large numbers of unruly supporters of Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail gathered outside the state court in Cairo’s Dokki district. According to Egyptian election regulations, anyone who has a dual citizenship, or has a parent or spouse with one, is barred from the presidential race. Although his mother used her American passport to enter Egypt, Abu-Ismail filed a lawsuit to require the Interior Ministry to prove that she was a dual citizen. Without official Egyptian documentation, Abu-Ismail asserted, he could not be disqualified from the race. His supporters massed in front of and inside the courthouse; carried signs with hostile slogans against our state institutions as a whole; and shouted threats at the judges to frighten them into deciding in Abu-Ismail’s favor.

With all due respect, I seriously reproach the SCAF and the Minister of Interior for not giving orders to the Central Security Forces from the first sign of trouble – and even sending the military police if necessary – to protect our courts and our esteemed judges before, during and after their deliberations. The protestors should have been forced to remain on the opposite side of the street from the courthouses, as is the law in France and other western democracies. To their credit, SCAF did take a more responsible stand with regards to the security of the latest High Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) meeting. Military Police Chief General Hamdy Badin and his men secured the site at which HPEC decided that Abu-Ismail did not meet the requirements to run for president. The deliberations were conducted without incident, as they should be.

Egypt’s politicians must now understand that the public is fed up. The top priority for most citizens is no longer attaining political goals, but achieving basic security. Citizens simply want enough stability to enable them to earn a living, which cannot happen until we are capable of boosting production, restoring tourism and preserving the Central Bank’s cash reserves. If Central Security and the military police were to do their jobs to realize these basic conditions, they could put an end to this deteriorating situation and gain the respect of the public for the role of the state in Egypt’s future.

translated from Al-Akhbar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.