The dramatic events in Egypt for the last 18 days culminated in President Mubarak’s resignation of his presidency and the passing of power to the military. He and his family fled to Sharm el-Sheikh. With this, the people power manifested by the Egyptian people basically ended. The ousting of a dictator won them the victory for the moment.
The similarity to our own EDSA circa 1986 is now being talked about. Its relative peaceful resolution, the activism of all the people including those from the middle and upper classes, the international isolation of the ruling regime–all these bring to mind our own ousting of the dictator Marcos.
However, there are a lot of differences. Among these are the lack of a democratic political pole that can immediately rally the people (Cory Aquino, in our case), the decisive role given to the military hierarchy whose current loyalties are still uncertain), the major role given to information technology, and the regional impact of the Egyptian crisis.
The differences are great enough to say that the Egyptian people power will be a unique one in its own right. The situation right now hangs in balance, with the two powers–the army and the people–still separated and unreconciliated. The army, who holds the transitory power, has not yet spoken for a transition to a democratic regime. The people, who actually holds the decisive power but in a generally spontaneous manner, are in danger of assuming the automatic rise of a democratic regime.
The democratic forces, in both political parties and the army, have to prevail with the help of people power. Otherwise, the entry of an unrepentant army into power will result in either a disguised martial rule or a wimpy democratic regime, that may even bring back Mubarak.
At any rate, the people of Egypt won this phase of their struggle for democracy. The world pays homage to them!