The Second Egyptian Republic
Tarek Osman, in the Cairo Review, counters the (prevailing?) pessimism:
There are also a number of observers who argue that the country still has not developed the institutional base or educational and social infrastructure necessary for a transition to genuine democracy or purely civilian rule. In this line of reasoning, liberal capitalists, despite their influence during Mubarak’s last two decades and far reach across the economy, drew all of their power from President Mubarak’s support; and as the liberal groups behind the 2011 uprising are scattered, leaderless and inexperienced, they are unable to form a credible and responsible leadership in the short or medium term. Therefore the only way to stop Islamists from establishing an Islamic republic would be for the military institution to retain its influence, uphold the secular nature of the state, and maintain its supremacy through a power-sharing system with the elected president.These arguments fail to appreciate the immense changes that have been taking place in Egypt for a number of years before the 2011 revolution. The
military should be sophisticated enough to understand that the fall of the Mubarak regime marks the end of Egypt’s ‘first republic.’ It needs to recognize that the 2011 uprising produced an unstoppable wave of political energy, backed by a large youth population and vast sections of the country’s growing middle classes, that no wise leadership would try to oppose. The groups that propelled the 2011 uprising, and new social constituencies emboldened by the revolution’s results (for example within Egypt’s labor organizations and inside many of the country’s universities), will continue to push for a more open, transparent, efficient and civic political process.