17 Oct 2010
The late journalist Magdi Mehanna used to say that Gamal Mubarak has made himself into an object of guesswork. His emergence on the political scene, much like his absence, never fails to fuel questions about his political motives.
Gamal's recent disappearance from the public arena has brought Mehanna's words back to mind. News about Gamal's activities have altogether disappeared from...
16 Oct 2010
Electoral deals are agreements made between political parties prior to an election with the aim of winning more votes or curbing the success of an opponent. All political systems are familiar with such deals, which may involve joint advertising, adopting common electoral platforms or exchanging votes if the electoral system allows it. These deals are part of the political game, giving those...
15 Oct 2010
The US Senate proposed a bill over a week ago that calls on the United States to pressure the Egyptian government to abolish the state of emergency and provide guarantees for transparency in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.
The bill--titled “Support for democracy, human rights and civil liberties in Egypt”--was proposed by prominent members of the Democratic and...
14 Oct 2010
A characteristic of a global hegemon is its ability to exert influence and control beyond its geographic borders and natural proximities. America’s role in the second half of the 20th century exemplifies this characteristic. A multi-site realist approach produced America's brutal domination of Central and South American politics in the 1970s and 1980s, its economic mandates over Western...
14 Oct 2010
International observers are for newly independent states without the institutions needed to run elections--unlike Egypt--according to Moqbel Shaker, vice chairman of Egypt’s National Human Rights Commission. Shaker reportedly provided this helpful explanation to police officers at a 3 October training seminar related to the upcoming parliamentary elections. But while the fact that the human...
13 Oct 2010
A few months ago I was told by a well known media personality who works for Egyptian state television and radio that a leading member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) had informed him about a government plan to place restrictions on satellite television and private newspapers. My contact advised me to write an article cautioning my colleagues about what to expect in the near future...
12 Oct 2010
It’s been instructive to watch how China has reacted to the Nobel Committee’s decision to award Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo with its Peace Prize. Xiaobo is an academic, a public intellectual and an activist who backed a 2008 call for reforms in the way China is ruled. Currently in prison, he has been denigrated in the state press and prevented from making a public statement. His wife...
10 Oct 2010
Sectarian tensions are mounting. The once muted conflict is fast developing into an openly declared one, with accusations being openly exchanged between Muslims and Copts. Still, some insist that sectarian incidents are limited, and that national unity banquets are the key to restoring peace and breaking the vicious circle of sectarianism.
It is erroneous to assume that one party alone bears full...
09 Oct 2010
Al-Dostour’s recently dismissed chief editor, Ibrahim Eissa, was not fired due to ordinary disputes over administrative or editorial issues. The decision to remove Eissa was without a doubt political.
Eissa had a good relationship with Al-Dostour’s former owner, Essam Ismail Fahmy. The result was a paper that had a unique flair to it, irrespective of whether one agreed or disagreed...
07 Oct 2010
It would be easy to dismiss Egypt’s 29 November parliamentary elections as just one more chapter in Egypt’s rather sad recent electoral history. The ruling National Democratic Party will get at least two-thirds of the seats, assuring its control over any future amendments to the constitution. Opposition candidates are already facing more difficulties in campaigning than they did in...