The third way in Egypt

it is equally true that the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt has not produced a leader of the stature of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Given the respect and relative confidence that the Egyptian army currently enjoys, formation of such an interim government should be possible.

2. Contain corruption

The current opposition in Egypt is not limited to the grievances expressed by the men and women in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria. An overwhelming number of the silent majority in Egypt has long been embittered and inflamed by the day to day experience with the various government organizations and bureaucracies that function largely through rampant corruption. Even those Egyptians who are against the excesses of the young demonstrators on the street, agree whole heartedly that the rampant corruption in Egypt has profoundly affected their lives, and has limited their economic and political freedom.


In its 2010 report, Transparency International, the United Nations anti-corruption agency, indicated that of 178 countries under its study, Egypt is the 98th most corrupt country (equal to drug-afflicted Mexico and destitute Burkina Faso).

Of course, it is not easy to eradicate institutional and generational corruption in a short period of time. In Egypt, as elsewhere, corruption and centralized bureaucracy go often hand in hand. By comparison, in case of Central and Eastern European countries, which have recently joined the European Union, the European Commission has reportedly expressed concern at the levels of corruption in these states, reporting that “corruption undermines both democracy and markets.”

In Egypt, as in other autocratic states, corruption is not limited to petty bribery, or the so called “bribocentric” perspective. There are more systematic issues ranging from social tolerance of corruption to the deep rooted traditional allocation of resources on the basis of patronage networks. The tragedy in Egypt is that, throughout the past decade, large resources that were made available to the government (for example, income derived from tourism, Suez Canal revenues, and U.S. aid of over $1.5 billion per year) were mainly stolen and squandered. In today’s Egypt, poverty is endemic and per capita GDP is only approximately $2,500 and millions live on less than $2 per day.

The administration of Hosni Mobarak has been notorious in ignoring even the rudimentary steps necessary to contain corruption. In a special report dated May 2010, Transparency International stated that the Egyptian government’s underdeveloped accounting systems are hindering efforts to control corruption in that country. This statement refers to the major legal gaps