Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Egypt's Imitation Election

Finally someone says it straight out. This is an op/ed from NYT/IHT. In contrast, the daily coverage we have seen from the major outlets in the past week has lent a language of legitimacy to the election. That is not objective reporting, it is hiding the truth.
Here are some simple ways to identify a real democratic election. The ruling party should not be allowed to shape the election arrangements and intimidate voters. The candidates should be able to compete on a reasonably level playing field. Impartial observers should be welcome and given time to deploy themselves at polling places nationwide.

Not one of these defining features was evident in last week's Egyptian presidential voting, whose main purpose was to usher President Hosni Mubarak into his fifth six-year term.

Compared with the real democracy that Egypt's 76 million people need and deserve, the election was an elaborate and largely meaningless sham. …nobody is counting on any lasting political opening. …it could as easily turn out to be the ceremonial opening act of a planned dynastic succession …Mubarak’s 41-year-old son being groomed to succeed him.

Egyptians need real democracy so that they can demand an end to the corruption and nepotism that stifle economic and educational opportunity and a halt to the social and political injustices that fuel sterile cycles of violent unrest and repression. Unfortunately, the next presidential elections are not due until 2011. That is an awfully long time to wait.

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