No link page this week as Cambridge is all up in my grill. But this is the best thing I read in the past few days – Mona ElGhobashy on Egyptian elections and how they’re a lot more interesting than one might think. A salutary message.
‘Egypt’s elections are not barometers of national opinion; they are barometers of shifts in the relative position of government and opposition. There is no question of the government losing control in the November balloting. What is of interest is how the government maintains its dominance and at what cost.
Given its rigorous preparations over the past five years, all forecasts are that the regime will emerge triumphant, corralling the Muslim Brothers into a measly number of seats and putting an end, once and for all, to the Islamist organization’s brief prominence on the national and international stage. Within that broad picture, however, several unknowns remain. Will a resuscitated Wafd gain a large share of seats and emerge as the leader of a malleable new opposition, as some predict? Will the Muslim Brothers gain a maximum of 20 seats, as others aver? Will the NDP’s new candidacy system work, halting the intra-party squabbling that has come to be its election trademark? And will the surge of social protest increase voting rates or otherwise galvanize the electorate?’