Saturday, November 19, 2011

EgyptElections: Campaign: Military govt tries to steer revolutionaries to self-defeat

URLs for various press reports follow, which I had commented on adequately, but which text has somehow gone missing.   Try clicking up these reports for yourself, if you're interested.

The date of the election is November 30, 2k11!

A last minute message from We are all Khaled Said page on Facebook:

After a long struggle Egyptians abroad have won their right to vote but until this moment, only 314497 have registered online to vote from abroad. The government estimates that there are 8 million Egyptians living and working abroad. At least half this number have the right to vote.

If you are an Egyptian living abroad, please register online to vote at the elections 2011 governemnt website. YOUR Vote COUNTS.

Register Online to be able to vote from abroad in the Egyptian national elections starting on 28th November.
Here's the website's Arabic-language mass-educational video:

Massive demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square -

Cairo (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of Egyptians turned out in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to protest plans for a constitution that would shield the military from public oversight.
The throng, dominated by Islamist parties but also including secular forces, comes ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections set to begin on November 28.
Egypt has been ruled by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces since the departure of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. The military said it wants to transfer power to a civilian parliament and president.
But protesters are upset about proposed principles for the constitution, in which the military's budget would not be scrutinized by civilian powers. They worry that the military would be shaped as a state within a state.
The outpouring reflects the power of Islamist forces in Egypt, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

Egypt court permits members of Mubarak's party to run in upcoming elections - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

A top Egyptian court on Monday overturned a decision barring members of President Hosni Mubarak's former party from standing in a parliamentary election that starts later this month.
Read more ... click the time-stamp below .... 

A lower Egyptian court in the Delta city of Mansoura ruled on Friday to ban members of former National Democratic Party (NDP) from running, setting off a string of lawsuits nationwide aimed at removing such candidates from the race.

Egypt's military rulers ban foreign election observers -

Egyptian rights activists are raising strong concerns after the country's military rulers banned international observers for the first elections of the post-Mubarak era.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military junta that took over after President Hosni Mubarak was pushed out, said Wednesday that elections will be delayed to November, two months later than originally expected. International monitors will not be permitted on the grounds of national sovereignty, said Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shahin, the military council’s legislative adviser.
“This is a very terrible development,” says Bahey El Din Hassan, director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. “It was usual to hear this from the Mubarak regime because the elections were always fraudulent.”
But for the military to take the same position, citing the same excuse the Mubarak regime used, “raises serious questions about the credibility of the coming election,” he says.
A fair vote is vital to establishing both domestic and international trust in Egypt’s new government, and international monitors would be a natural way to ensure one, says Mr. Hassan. Election fraud was rife throughout the 30 years of Mubarak’s rule. Parliamentary elections held in November and December of last year were widely seen as some of the most fraudulent in Egypt’s modern history.

Egyptian Islamists, others gather to show unity | Reuters

November 16, 2011
Political parties, activists and Islamist groups in Egypt are threatening more mass protests in Cairo and other cities Friday against a document drafted by the interim government that would enshrine the powers of the Egyptian military.
It's the latest clash between Egypt's pro-democracy factions and the ruling military council, which is accused of clinging to power despite its pledge to cede control to an elected government.
The document was released more than two weeks ago by Egypt's interim civilian government, but analysts say there is no doubt it originated with the generals who have ruled Egypt since Hosni Mubarak resigned as president in February.
In a recent interview with Al Arabiya network, Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy defended the proposals that many complain would give the military unchecked power over Egypt. He said the measures were drafted in consultation with Egypt's political and popular forces, but critics say the only green light the government got to draft the measures came from the ruling military council.
"One of our biggest concerns with this document that the deputy prime minister and the government is presenting is that it's just a continuation of what we've seen of the military placing itself above the law," says Soha Abdelaty, deputy director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
She and others say the measures would give the military final say over the drafting of Egypt's new constitution.
Gloves off as Egypt's election race heats ... JPost - Middle East

CAIRO - Egyptians are facing a blizzard of posters and TV adverts seeking their votes in the first free parliamentary election in decades but some campaigners are turning to tricks like tearing down rival posters in a race where every vote counts.

The vote offers Egyptians the first real chance to choose who represents them. During Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, intimidation, ballot stuffing and graft ensured landslide wins for his ruling party.

Egyptian women fret as 'modesty' becomes election issue

No one expects a return to that kind of routine rigging but, with everything to play for, the gloves have come off before staggered voting starts on Nov. 28.

Party agents are defacing campaign posters, disrupting rallies with verbal attacks on their rivals and distributing bogus flyers ridiculing opponents.

Liberal parties accuse the well-funded Muslim Brotherhood of spreading more than its usual largesse to win votes. Many expect it to form one of the biggest blocs in parliament although analysts question whether it can secure a majority.

The group, respected for its track record of charitable work, has been handing out meat to prospective voters.

In one village, the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party is offering half-price medicines and sponsored a football match, newspaper al-Dostour reported.

Its rivals rail against what they see as thinly-veiled vote buying by the Brotherhood, employing the kind of tactics Mubarak's party candidates were once derided for using. But some liberal parties are involved in such offers too .

Activists from new parties promising cleaner politics say they face an uphill battle, especially in provincial towns.

Mapping Egypt's political parties  - Blog - The Arabist
In Egypt at the moment two weeks before the November 30, 2k11 election: There are 14 Polirical Islam parties, 9 Former NDP [Mubarak's party], 4 Socialist/Communist parties, 2 Nasserist parties, 6 Center-Left parties, 9 Center parties, 6 Liberal Parties.  They are all mapped on two intersecting axes — the secularist vs. religious poles, and the leftwing vs. righwing poles (state ownership of the means of production vs capitalist business and employment in a free economy).  Excellent!  Also recommended — download the free PDF.        

Egypt’s election law favors small parties, fractured parliament « Ahwa Talk

Although it’s difficult to predict many aspects of Egypt’s upcoming election, most observers assume that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party will win a plurality of seats, while the smaller, divided liberal parties will perform poorly.  This is most likely true.  What is not true, however, is the often-stated proposition that this is partially because the country’s electoral system works to the Brotherhood’s advantage.   There are some good reasons people have said this.  Under previous versions of the electoral law, I’ve made the same argument.   As the rules stand now, however, this is not completely true.   The details of the new electoral system, specifically the seat allocation method in the proportional tier, will give actually give a boost to the fractured liberal parties, while depriving the Brotherhood of a majority they would obtain in more commonly used electoral systems.  The reason for this is due to the formula used to calculate who wins the two-thirds of seats in the proportional representation tier.

Cleric signals Egyptian fears about Iran - JPost - Middle East

Al-Azhar head warns against Shi'ite proselytizing even as bilateral ties with Islamic Republic warm. 

In a sign of the difficulties facing the much-discussed rapprochement between Egypt and Iran, Egypt's top religious cleric has warned two visiting Shi'ite delegations against spreading the Shi'ite faith in predominantly Sunni Egypt.

Although the meeting and the comments by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, head of the Al-Azhar academy in Cairo, were ostensibly about purely religious matters, analysts said the remarks reflected nervousness in Egypt about Tehran’s aspirations for regional hegemony and historical distrust between the two great streams of Islam.

CTS Grads Move to Egypt - Christian Reformed Church

Zaki and her husband came the U.S. in 2002 to attend Calvin Theological Seminary. Anne had graduated from Calvin College.
After graduation from CTS, they served a Christian Reformed Church congregation in Grand Rapids, Mich., and one in British Columbia.
In Egypt, Zaki will teach at a seminary and work with the Christian community while Umran, who is Canadian, begins a ministry focused on creating dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
"We hope to edify people through peaceful preaching. We will be speaking about Reformed culture, which teaches us to be very active agents for change in the world. That is a beneficial learning to take with us," Zaki says.
As she returns, memories of 9/11 have sifted back, making her realize yet again the changes that have occurred around the world and in Egypt after the attacks.
Zaki recalls seeing the looks of sadness on the faces of friends, family members and Muslims after the news of the attacks broke.
While some news outlets were reporting Muslims dancing in the streets to celebrate the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Zaki says she never saw any celebrations. If anything, Egyptians were somber.
Ironically, the attacks also brought a sense of hope that perhaps the U.S. would pay attention to the reality that factions of Islam had been challenging the fabric of moderate Egyptian society.
"People were really grieving for the United States, at the same time they had the sense that perhaps the U.S. would now be able to relate better to the suffering that our people are going through," says Zaki.
Zaki is no stranger to the violence that can erupt in the Middle East. Last Christmas season, members of her family were attending a service in a Christian church that was bombed, killing many people. Her family members were not physically harmed.
Peter VanderMeulen, director of the CRC’s Office of Social Justice, says he is encouraged by the type of work Zaki and her husband will be doing, right in the heart of a country that experiences all of the tensions and opportunities that exist for building relationships between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.

Who Exactly is Deeply Unrealistic about Egypt? -

Let me clarify my position: Suspending aid would be no "mere" expression--that's the crux of it. Again, that aid amounts to an astronomical sum; Egypt is the second-largest recipient of US military aid in the world. I'm not suggesting a more severe expression of wrath than that, if that's what you're wondering--I'm not proposing that we start bombing Mubarak. I don't think any reasonable person would read my comments that way. Cutting off the funding would be quite sufficiently wrathful, as would a strong statement that the people of the United States are disgusted and furious to see this government brutalizing its own people.
If I understand you correctly, Daniel, you think we should not say this, because "publicly backing the protesters simply contributes to an escalating confrontation that cannot end well for the protesters or the U.S.-Egyptian relationship." My position is that the confrontation is escalating whether we like it or not--and surely you can see the likelihood that backing the regime won't end well for the protesters or the U.S.-Egyptian relationship, either. Leaving aside all moral sentiment, this seems obvious as a pure Realpolitik calculation. 

— Compiled by Politicarp for refWrite readers.

No comments: