Politics: Egypt's elections: State Dept #2 Zoellick works for observed, clean election in Egypt, but Egyptos skeptical
Hosni Mubarak has sponsored the move of his stacked Parliament to provide for a Presidential election in September and Parliamantary elections sometime thereafter. But vote fraud, intimidation, and other irregularities are expected by Mubarak-skeptics who have been aching for real change toward more than a facade of democracy in the land.
The US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick has been in Cairo for two days, pushing for the welcoming of election observers from outside Egypt and for a well-planned process that increases chances for a vote free from fraud, but also adoption of arrangments "give opposition parties equal time in the media and ensure fairness in the voting."
The US does have considerable leverage with Egypt, since it bankrolls what otherwise would be a huge annual deficit in this most populous of Arab nations. The trio of President Bush, Secretary Condoleeza Rice, and Zoellick have been working the diplomatic repertoire in a consistent program to ease Egypt along step by step into the ranks of democracies, and out of those of dictatorships - this is one of the primary missions unleashed by the Bush Doctrine in foreign relations, one his naysayers rarely mention. But Mubarak-skeptics are not yet reassured. Here's hopin' for the coming of democracy to Egypt! - Owlb