"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

JMP OK with Salih- for now

Nasser has an article at his site on how the JMP isn't asking Salih to step down if he offers meaningful reforms.
“The opposition has not arrived its final stage, and it is still demanding serious and genuine reforms,” said Mohammed Al Mutawakel, chairman of the supreme council of the Joint Meeting Parties, the coalition of the main opposition parties.
“When people become hopeless of genuine reforms, then demands for removal of the regime will be used like Egypt and Tunisia.” 

This kind of gets to James' points in the comment section below- I don't think that the JMP is going to be able to hold a grip on events for very long.  They are negotiating within a certain framework, and I have a feeling that most people in the streets on Thursday want a whole new framework.

Of course, if they are able to really force Salih into making legitimate concessions and immediate reforms, they might be able to tamp down the protestors, and perhaps even paint them as radicals way outside the mainstream.   Salih is going to have to do something huge if he wants to avoid his own Cairo.   But the problem is one of trust- a lot of the people against him won't believe a pledge not to run again, or not to maneuver his spoiled and detested son into office.  And nor, frankly, should they.  Salih has played the "I'm stepping down" card before, to his advantage.  And 2013 is a long, long time from now.

So, if tomorrow after a series of meetings they announce that there will be real reform, it comes down to people being willing to place their faith in the good offices of the JMP.  And I don't see that happening.  The psychological wall between ruler and ruled has been broken in the Middle East.  You might see a crackdown, but that will just be a bloody bandaid.  I don't really think people are going to be satisfied with minor alterations to the status quo.  

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