For 30 years Egyypt has labored under Emergency rule that gave police almost unlimted power throughout the country.
That pwer has not yet ended, evenas Hosini Muarak has resigned. There are those who hold this power and are unlikely to give it up without a struggle. More over, history has shown again and agian that this goes badly. After the Iranian revolution in the 1980's about 100,000 members of SAVAK-the Iranian secret police were executed with out trials in many cases.
This led direclty to the Islamic state that now exists in Iran. True, whole sale executions ended, but the fundamenals of due process were ignored, and continue to be in Iran.
If emergency rulee end what take it's place? Are pople going to let 30 years of repression go unaccouned for?
This is unlikely. Human nature demands an accounting-and these accounting are not pretty. Who informed for the Secret Police? Even today in coutries such as Czechoslovakia and Germeany there are revelations of former secret police and records uncovered about misdoings.
The excuse of emergency rule was -enemies of the state-in form of the Muslim Brotherhood -were so extensive that militaryrule was necessary. Only if emergenc yrule is ended can the Muslim Brothorhood participate "in open and free elections"
Almost every one acknowledges the last election waere clearly not either fair or free. Politcal parties were banned unless thegovernment organzieed them . Ther were no rules about who could contribute, how much could be either contributed or spent. There was no acess to state or non state televisonn....
Given the power of the Egyptian estabishment left largely intact the cyical view is that "free andfair" probably won't be.
And exactly who is going to root out the corruption? That also is up in the air. Thee xisting Parlement is so feeble it hasn't evenmet-and if it did there's no credibilty withthe Arab street.
But ending emergency rule wil lbe an mportant first step. As Lord Acton once sidi "The first to of goverment is to control itself."