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Egypt, Tunisia: What next after revolution?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 15:18 UK time, Monday, 14 February 2011

Popular protests in Tunisia and Egypt have led to the overthrow of long-serving heads of state who held a tight grip on power. 

Egypt protestor in tears after Mubarak resigns
But what happens when the euphoria of victory clears and the reality of the challenges ahead emerges?

Should protesters continue to keep up the pressure, or allow for a period of reflection and stability? How do protestors adapt to "normal" life after a period on the streets?

Who should decide the future of the countries involved? The army? A coalition? And who decides what form of government or political system should be developed?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 15 February at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 


  • Comment number 1.

    The country does not need the Democracy as envisioned in West. It rather needs some thing like Singapore, where the country is run by the technocrats. Western Democracy has failed in every instance to bring prosperity in countries liberated after mid forties. Look at any country like India, Indonesia, Philippines, there is a lot of corruption, the money is held by some families, the average man on the street has not really benefited. On the other hand, Singapore has provided a modicum of Democracy and all the citizens have benefited in prosperity of the county.
    Western Democracy does not fill the stomach but does provide the empty running of the mouth. People on the streets need jobs and to benefit to uplift their lives, which is not really provided by installation of Democracy in these poor countries. Even in India, where democracy is flourishing, the poor people even after more than sixty years have not benefited really.

  • Comment number 2.

    The question of who should decide the future of all the countries involved during the protests is very critical. But to be candid enough the coalition needs to decide what form of government or political system they will develop for their countries.
    To my own view, I am seeing new democracies in the Arab countries which the West will appreciate greatly. In recent times, we now here protests from Tunisia to Algeria, Egypt to Yemen and presently we are hearing recent developments about anti government protests in Tehran and Bahrain.
    The protests in these Arab countries are however not good results for these countries but in other words, they protests are welcomed because they are paving the ways for new kinds of democracies to be experienced in the Arab countries which will be highly welcomed by the United states of America and other democracy allies.

    Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya, Freetown Sierra Leone
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 3.

    Whatever systems emerge from these revolutions should be determined by the citizens of the countries concerned, not by outsiders. Indeed, foreign powers should stop interfering in other countries' internal affairs whether there's a revolution or not. This is, after all, the essence of Article 2(7) of the UN Charter - the closest thing there is to a global constitution. But what, I hear you ask, if a particular democratic choice produces a violent, al-Qaeda-type regime that genuinely constitutes a threat to other countries? The answer is that that is precisely what the Security Council exists for under the same Charter.

  • Comment number 4.

    Those revolutions may not be all satisfactory!

    Only change of face not even a regime!

    There is need to change the strategy!

  • Comment number 5.

    The people of Egypt and Tunisia should know that,things are not going to change immediately after the protest.But rather they have to go through some hardship before their economy can recover from the shocks it recieved during the demonstrations and protestes.So I will entreat them to atleast stop those small small protests and help build the Economy which they harmed with the protests.But,By then as to whether these countries need democracy or not I would say they don't need it because they are completely different from the Western Countries So practicing it would be very dangerous but instead a mixture of principles of democracy and their culture will work for them.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think the people still protesting in Tahrir Square should go back to their homes now since their voices have been heard; Mubarak is gone, constitution and parliament are suspended as per their demands.All this among others is done to determine new political dispensation in Egypt as essence of the revolution.

    However, the military shouldn't tolerate everything they demand otherwise wrong elements will hijack this situation and advance their interests. The military must be wary about matters that could plunge those countries especially Egypt into lawlessness.

    Mapuor Malaul Manguen,
    Kampala International University,

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank you BBC for such an informative forum. I applaud you for the choice of topics you present to us, because they touch on the real life issues. On today's discussion, I am of the opinion that the so-called "people's power" is merely mob psychology, otherwise adolescent revolutions. Egypt has now moved from a civilian to a military regime, something I don't admire. The demonstrators were led by one intention: to unseat Mr Mubarak. In fact, I was surprised how Dr El Baradei got himself into this, for I had much respect for him. Couldn't these Egyptians wait until the election day to register their disappointment with Mr Mubarak by voting him out? What happened in Egypt is clearly copy-cut, that because the experiment worked in Tunisia, then it should work in Egypt. I am afraid this is the deterioration of democracy and a mockery of the so-called people power. God help us!!

  • Comment number 8.

    What most African countries have been practising is quasi-democracy.Democracy is quite strange to African system and that constitutes a bedrock for political instability. I think it is time African people decided the best political system for appropriate governance. This does not negate or refute all the elements of democracy but a system that concur with their culture is necessarily required.Maybe it would be called Africtocracy. More to be researched by myself on this theory to make it acceptable in the academic community.

  • Comment number 9.

    It is the will of the people of Tunisia and Egypt that have prevailed and so it is now left to the people to drive the process with tact but not on emotions. The will of the people should not be allowed to fall into the hands of extremist.

  • Comment number 10.

    well there ought to be order if people were to enjoy their liberty. it is time to learn how to work. most importantly those with knowledge and various skills and expertise should maximize on the entusiasm of the youth to educate them further about when to claim, how to claim and when to wait for a response. the danger now would be how fast people want to see immediate response to their needs (material satisfaction). it would not be easy to create jobs in one day. of equal importance is the understanding of the international community role in the affairs of poor neocolonized african countries. regulations around WTO and the interests attached to the imposed loans are forcing most leaders who initially could have heart in the right places to give up and go on serving others than their own people.Julius Nyerere once exclaimed should we go on sacrificing our own people to serve the interest of others? meaning the international community.those coming in power should be able to tell the people certain elements of truth if they were to be safe. otherwise chaos is at the door posts.in Africa so far we don't own our wealth nor our development. everything is conditionned.unless the Americans particularly loosen their grips...i am not yet convinced of a better future be it in Egypt or Tunisia. BUt what i can say is the fact that if only people had the truth about the closes of our relationships with the international community, we would know how to fight and not just changing presidents.our presidents look bad guys but in reality they are being made bad guys


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