With a parliamentary election due Nov. 28, 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak has launched a crackdown against his opposition and independent media; he also has rejected a direct appeal from President Obama to allow international observers at the polls. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed AboulGheit visited the State Department on Wednesday, wasn’t pressed at all about the internal issue. Obama administration says about it, in public, means a lot to the hundreds of thousands of brave Egyptians who have joined pro-democracy movements - and to those who quietly wait for the political transition that everyone in Cairo knows will come when the ailing president steps down or dies. Ms. Clinton had an opportunity to send a vital message; wrongly, she chose not to. Egypt's High Election Commission says 5,720 candidates have registered to run in the upcoming election. The legislature's 508 seats include 64 allocated for women. The NDP will be running 839 candidates, forcing its party to compete against itself in many constituencies. Undoubtedly the NDP will win by vast majorities in the parliamentary, because there is no reason to not let them win. The US isn’t going to stop supporting, and a few seats might be thrown up to opposition to strengthen the façade, but no major changes.Egyptian Presidential Election is slotted for September 2011
Farouk, Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak,Occasionally go on Democracy rant, like bush did in 05. Then we find out we need Egyptian intelligence for the Iraq war and the prisons for our undesirables. And just to make sure the US understands what they are pursuing, the Mubarak regime allowed a few seats to go to Muslim Brotherhood supporters. This scared the US and thus we knocked off our pro-democracy rant because any regime that can keep the radical Muslims at bay is considered better than the alternative.Most Egyptians won’t support a full on Muslim Brotherhood Takeover yet. Evidence through communications I had in both English and Arabic (so rich and poor) speakers in Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor in the summer of 2010. The upcoming election will be a sign of how to proceed. It will not be free and fair, so we will get to determine which lesser of two evils we try to court for the Presidential Election.
Mubarak has done decently well for Egypt in terms of development, averaging almost 7% gains a year, and making it a local magnet for investment. However 40% of Egypt lives near the poverty line of $2.00 implying, which is where the Muslim brotherhood tends to shine as they carry out charity issues the NDP and State do not (proof that they are not going anywhere.) Riots have been up this past year, but for the most part Egypt’s elite still maintain power. He would be 90 years old if he completes the following term. Nothing really will change as he has a tight control on the state. Article 76 says no term limits.Someone else runs, Hosni stands down. It will probably be someone from the military (Nasser, Sedat, Mubarak all the same.) No real change, just a different figure head for a long time.
Gamal Mubarak-who is not military, runs. This happened in Syria, which historically shares close ties with Egypt in 2000 with the death of Bashar. Educated at AUC, then worked for Bank of America Egypt, as well as sat on the Board in London, may be the best chance at liberalization. He has already loosened up Egypt’s economic policies and is young enough to be swayed from the old because he is so well grounded in the west.CandidacyAdditional requirements were provisioned in Article 76 of the Egyptian constitution concerning candidates for the President's office. The candidate must have occupied one of the top leadership positions in the party for a period of one year.The political party must have been established for a period of five years, and managed to win 3% of the seats in the People’s Assembly (the lower chamber of Parliament), and 5% in the Shora Council (the upper chamber).An independent candidate:An independent candidate must receive the endorsement of 250 elected members from Egypt’s representative bodies (approximately 6.5% from a total of 3847 representatives), from which a minimum of 65 endorsements to be obtained from the People’s Assembly (which constitutes 14%), 25 endorsements from the Shoura Council (also 14%) and 10 Local Council endorsements from 14 Governorates (4.5%) in order to ensure geographic representation.Baradei-Front runner for opposition. Former Director General of IAEA. Nobel peace prize 2005, says he wont announce plans till after November of this year. Cannot even run under the independent candidate without many NDP members breaking rank. See if Baradei actually runs, if so in a fair election he will win. If the election is not fair, we need to court Gamal as much as possible and hopes that as soon as his father dies, sweeping change comes in.
He who cannot change the very fabric of thought will never be able to change reality and will never therefore, make any progress. -Sadat
Egyptian Elections<br />How the US should handle the upcoming elections<br />Ian Weller<br />