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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Egyptian Elections

Guardian Unlimited::

Today's presidential election is the first time Egyptians have been able to pick an alternative to their leader, Hosni Mubarak, but few expect to see change, writes David Fickling. Mamduh Shawqi sees the whole process as a play: "The candidates are hilarious people, which makes you think they were probably all chosen by the current system to play the role of candidates," he writes. The disillusion of many bloggers sits side-by-side with a weary excitement at the remote possibility of change. Ritzy Mabrouk delivers a potent picture of Cairo holding its breath as election day dawns, but concludes the election is a “dirty mess”. Others see more potential in the contest.
By all accounts, the Egyptian elections were flawed in many ways. However, the very fact that they happened, and that Mubarak felt that he had to have them, is immensely significant. Time will tell how much of an effect this will have. I believe that it will be very hard to stop the progress that is happening in Egypt and elsewhere, and that democracy will come to the wider middle east. It won't be instant, and there will be numerous false steps, but the desire for self-determination is strong in all people, and once they get a taste they tend to want more.

2 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Contrary to your opinion, there was no significance whatsoever in the Egyptian elections. Mubarak controls all elements of power in Egypt and will not step down until he dies...typical Arab tyranny.

Now, perhaps you have an idea why I questioned your posting an Egyptian flag following the terrorist act there. Egypt remains, for all its promises of peace, one if not the biggest enemies of Israel. If at any given point in time Islamic fundamentalists do succeed in gaining power all treaties will prove meaningless and Israel will once again be faced by a mammoth enemy from the South.

The Egyptian press is notorious for printing anti-Semitic propaganda and featuring anti-Semitic cartoons. I hope that evil empire collapses causing rioting and mayhem. As for democracy in Egypt, Dave, I'm afraid you have a while to wait. As for me I don't expect any progress not only in Egypt but in the entire Arab/terrorist world within my lifetime.

9/10/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Mubarak certainly controls all the power in Egypt, and the elections didn't change that at all. I made that clear in my post.

However, I also don't believe that he would commit a massacre to remain in power. (Arrests and secret police intimidation yes, mowing down a crowd, no)

This means that a Ukraine style revolution is possible in Egypt. Indeed it is fear of such a thing that prompted Mubarak to hold these elections in the first place. From what I see, the people will continue to press for more.

The Egyptian people who were killed by the terrorists were just as human as any other. They deserve to be mourned and remembered, not written off as unimportant because they are Arabs. That is rank racism.

Your views on the prospect of Arab democracy also strike me as being motivated by racial animus, rather than a clear assessment of the facts and the progress that has been made. It will take time, and I don't expect a strong democracy in Egypt anytime soon, but those who are fighting for that, even if they are Arab (perhaps especially if they are Arab) have my full admiration and support.

9/11/2005 01:31:00 PM  

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