Egypt’s Presidential Elections



By Nir Boms and Aaron Mannes

With international attention focused on the Palestinian and Iraqi elections, the October presidential referendum in Egypt will be little more than a re-inauguration for President Hosni Mubarak, who seeks to regain the presidency for the fifth time and to pave the way for his son Gamal to succeed him. Yet, this time Mr. Mubarak could face a real challenger. “If given the chance, I personally want to run to break the barrier of fear and intimidation,” Professor Saad al-Din Ibrahim, perhaps the Arab world’s leading voice for democracy and human rights, stated. “Not that I have real hopes of success, but I want to show my fellow Egyptians that nothing should be a political taboo.” An open political contest in the largest Arab nation would be an enormous advance for democracy in the Middle East. But Mr. Ibrahim will probably not get this chance, because under the Egyptian constitution the parliament nominates the sole candidate and the citizens can only approve by voting either “yes” or “no”.

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Reforms, Freedom in Egypt

By Nir Boms and Michael Meunier
Published November 4, 2004

Egypt has gone through 26 years of single-party rule, during which unemployment has risen to 25 percent. Regime opponents have been jailed, and many promises of political reform have been consistently ignored. Nearly everyone — the United States, Egyptian opposition, even the ruling party of President Hosni Mubarak — agrees that it is time for a change in the Arab world’s largest country. 

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On Egypt and the Rhetoric of Freedom

By Nir Boms | August 13, 2003

Reforms are a complicated business. Last year, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, in his capacity as the chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP) announced his plan for reform in party and country. “It is a time to move forward,” he said. He moved to appoint his own son, Gamal Mubarak, to oversee this new trend toward democracy. View full post…

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A ‘new’ and ‘open’ Egypt?


Washington Times

By Nir Boms
Published December 28, 2005

The Middle East appears to be changing. Its dictators are no longer immune from international justice. Their palaces are exposed to international pressure and their reign to increasing scrutiny by the people who already showed us that they can march in the streets of Lebanon, Egypt and even Syria. Elections have taken place not only in Iraq and the Palestinian Authority but also in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt – and that list goes on. A report about the new configuration of the parliament in Egypt appears almost natural in the western media. View full post…

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