x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Situation in Libya is deteriorating

Clear collective decisions by General National Congress could bring a new stability to Libya, an Arabic newspaper says. Other topics include Brotherhood in Egypt.

More than a year has passed since Libya's General National Congress (GNC) elections, but the country still cannot start out on a new path after its revolution, the London-based Al Quds wrote in an editorial on Friday.

The GNC agenda is no longer respected because of the delay in taking most of the agreed steps to end the transitional period, most notably the election of a committee to write a new constitution.

"The elections gave the general impression abroad that Libyans, who participated in elections for the first time in their lives, managed to achieve a calm vote, promising the possibility of a quiet, smooth transition period", the paper said.

Unfortunately, the situation in Libya has seen significant deterioration, due to the existence of armed militias on the streets and their control over regions and cities. the operate under the pretext of fighting against remnants of the former regime, the paper noted.

Time has shown that elections alone are not enough to make change happen on the ground. And those who were not so lucky in the elections have the power to prevent the GNC and the government from establishing a national army and security forces for all Libyans, despite suggestions that most of these militias should be incorporated into legitimate institutions.

For these reasons Libya has over time sunk into chaos, and this has been exploited by extremist groups close to Al Qaeda, which has thus been able to defend itself and continue its war against the western powers. "But they are actually fighting against the recovery of Libya", the paper said.

"Perhaps the situation today is the biggest proof of this. The General National Congress, the legislature and the only institution that has legitimacy began to collapse not only after freezing the membership of the National Forces Alliance and its participation in the political process, but also after passing the political insulation law that deprives some efficient figures of their right to participate, just because they worked under the previous regime," the paper added.

Another indication of the worsening situation is that the government of Ali Zidan, which expressed its commitment and willingness to reform the situation, started to weaken as it was forced to make compromises with different groups, until it considered the possibility of integrating the militias in the security forces.

Perhaps what is needed now is for the members of the General National Congress to prove their commitment to their responsibility by taking clear collective decisions regarding security and political issues, supporting the government to develop a national army and security forces," the paper concluded. Otherwise, Libya will remain in chaos for many years to come.

Brotherhood's stance helps old regime return

The more Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists delay in deciding on their future, the more they lose - and so does what remains of the democratic process, Emad Eddine Hussein wrote in the Cairo-based paper Al Shorouk.

By insisting on the return of Mohammed Morsi, the constitution and the upper house of parliament, the Brotherhood are maximising the odds of bringing back Hosni Mubarak's regime.

The Brotherhood and other Islamists can either join supporters of the January 25 revolution in rectifying the fatal mistakes made during Mr Morsi's rule, or they can decline and therefore allow the old regime's remnants and unorganised forces to fill the void of their voluntary absence.

The Brotherhood has a right to revel in victimhood for a while, but staying on that path will harm them further. They have to realise the facts on the ground: most people rose against the - including the army, the police, the media and the judiciary.

The tragedy that the Brotherhood does not realise is that the new government in Egypt might find itself obliged to collaborate with some figures of the old regime if the Islamists persist in their stance, according to the writer.

The Brotherhood's failure to be pragmatic and participate in the political process might also delay the execution of the road map to restore democracy and end the state of transition.

No party can be free to break the rules

There are two extreme views of the developments in Egypt, Abdul Rahman Al Rashed, a columnist with the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat, noted yesterday.

The first one sees the overwhelming public support for the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government as evidence that letting the Brotherhood into office was a mistake in the first place and so removal was a correction. The second one is that when liberal defended change they committed a major sin, revealing their true colours.

Both these views reveal a wide gap in public opinion in Egypt and the Arab world as a whole, as well as ignorance of the people involved in debate.

"Some colleagues have found that what I write these days about deposing Mr Morsi stands in stark contrast with what I wrote when I 'rejoiced' the victory of the Brotherhood at the elections," he wrote.

However, he said, there is really no contradiction. The victory of the Brotherhood was a triumph of liberal democracy, and overthrowing them when they went off track is also a triumph, not against the Brotherhood but against hijacking.

They took office when they accepted the rules of the game and were ejected when they broke them. Any party doing this should meet the same fate.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk