Egypt’s New ‘Democracy’

 

By Nir Boms/ Michael Meunier
Published November 21, 2005


Barely a month following President Hosni Mubarak’s predictable re-election, Egypt finds itself in full campaign mode again. The results of the first round of the parliamentary elections were just published, confirming a considerable gain in power for candidates affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood. 

Still, it is the second round of elections this year in the most significant Arab country in the world — so, something good is probably happening, right? The September elections in Egypt, the first-ever “open” elections, have come and gone in the Middle East news cycle, clearing the way for another round of assassinations in Lebanon; escalations in Gaza; suicide attacks in Iraq and Jordan. The headlines have told us about the “launch” of a “new path of progress for Egypt.” But words and promises are cheap in the Middle East. Reality has its own peace of mind. 

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Egypt’s Empty Promise

By NIR BOMS

EGYPT, the world’s largest Arab country, is now having its second round of elections this year. Sadly, that news isn’t as good as it looks.

Just last month, President Hosni Mubarak Egypt’s leader for 24 years, won re-election – on a far-from-level playing field. Parliamentary elections are now under way – and the first round saw considerable gains by candidates affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The Mubarak regime had billed the September presidential vote as the “launch” of a “new path of progress” for Egypt. But words and promises are cheap in the Middle East.

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