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.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Election: What They Say Today

WP: Egypt's Unfree Vote
Millions of Egyptians voted in a historic multi-candidate presidential election on Wednesday -- but the results will never be known. … Egyptians will never learn what part of the electorate turned out to vote, or what percentage chose one of the opposition candidates… Mr. Mubarak excluded foreign monitors from the polling stations and reversed a ban on local watchdog groups only on Election Day… The president decreed that all the results be tabulated at a central location by his handpicked nominees. When the totals are finally announced in a few days' time, there will be no reason for anyone to take them seriously.

NYT: Egypt's Metamorphosis: One Step Down the Open Road
With no doubt that Hosni Mubarak will be re-elected and widespread voter fraud evident, Egypt's first experiment with a multicandidate race for president this week may seem to outsiders like a charade. … But the younger Mubarak and his allies have persuaded the president to try a new path, one that relies less on the might of a billy club, and more on the power of ideas. The old guard agreed to go along - as long as the more open approach preserved the regime and its grip on power.

NYT: Q&A: Egypt's presidential election
Frank G. Wisner, a veteran U.S. diplomat and ambassador toEgypt from 1986-91, says the first-ever multi-candidate presidential election in Egypt marked "an historic day" for that country.

Telegraph: First step for Egypt
Before waxing lyrical about Arab democracy, it is worth recalling that there was never any doubt that Hosni Mubarak would win. … There is a danger that Mr Mubarak, having nodded in the direction of Washington and secured another six-year term, will now close the door on liberalisation. His courageous domestic opponents deserve the support of Washington and its allies as they attempt to drive the wedge further into the opening created by Wednesday's poll.

Guardian: Bush's dream of democratic Middle East may rest on engaging with Islamists
As long as the west shunned Islamist reformers, regimes such as those in Egypt and Tunisia would invent a "theatre of democratisation based on cosmetic reforms" or characterise western pressure as aggression."Without the active participation of moderate Islamists, calls for political transformation in the Arab world are bound to remain ... irrelevant for the larger social fabric and harmless to authoritarian regimes.”

Globe and Mail: Egyptian vote rigged, Brotherhood alleges
The initial returns from Egypt's first-ever presidential election looked exactly like Mohammed Habib had expected them to. After five decades of repression, the leaders of the country's Islamist movement have learned not to bet on change.

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