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.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dubious Democracy on the Nile

Hala Mustafa, editor of Al-Ahram's quarterly journal al-Dimuqratia (Democracy) is writing in the WP:
Unfortunately, it is difficult to believe that the elections will lead to substantial change in Egypt's political system, regardless of whether they meet international standards. Although clean elections are a necessary component of democracy, in Egypt they cannot -- and will not -- guarantee reforms.

The political domination of Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) extends to the security services, government bureaucracy and national media. In fact, the security establishment is deeply involved in the selection of parliamentary candidates. Accountable political parties are suppressed, so that there appears to be no political alternative except the Islamist movement.

Debate on reform in Egypt must look beyond elections, which can be expected to reflect that status quo. Change must take place through constitutional reform that will restructure political life to allow new and dynamic parties to compete with Mubarak's NDP. Egypt also needs more civil freedoms, more rights for women and minorities and a reshaping of the political elite to include a greater diversity of voices.

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