Egypt’s Local Elections Farce Causes and Consequences

Mohammed Herzallah

Amr Hamzawy

Egypt’s local elections of April 8, 2008 were a confirmation of a backwardslide in Egyptian politics. They were plagued by social unrest and politicaldiscord. In the weeks prior to the elections, labor protests escalated,precipitating a harsh crackdown that resulted in at least two fatalities and many injuries.The country’s largest opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, decided at the last minute to boycott the elections. Voter turn out did not exceed 5 percent and the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP),facing virtually no competition, landed a sweeping victory—winning roughly95 percent of the seats at stake.These developments bring to light a broader deterioration in Egyptian politics.Three elements of this process stand out and deserve careful attention:

Prvi, the burgeoning social crisis caused by out of control inflation, acrippled welfare system, and persistent unemployment;

• Second, a return to the old authoritarian practices of the rulingestablishment; i

• Third, worrying signs that call into question the very existence of aviable opposition capable of advancing reform through the political process.

Filed Under: EgipatIstaknutomuslimansko bratstvoStudije & Istraživanja


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