Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Egyptian Election Results

Here's how it looks:

NDP (ruling) 112

Muslim Brotherhood 34

Secular Opposition 5

Independents 13

Pretty suprising stuff really, the Brotherhood only had 15 seats in the entire Parliament last time around, so has effective doubled its share thus far. There are still 280 seats up for grabs in the coming weeks, so we could see a more influential opposition bloc in next assembly. Small progress, but progress nonetheless.

However, are the NDP shooting themselves in the foot? They now face the dilemna of whether to fix the elections to prevent the Brotherhood winning a similar share (or even more) in the second round or allowing a 'free' ballot.

Both have potentially dangerous consequences. Thee Nile Delta and Upper Egypt strongholds of the M.B are yet to vote, in a free election we could expect the Brotherhood to win a large share. If they don't, what happens? Protestors come out on to the street. The regime then faces that classic dictatorship dilemna. To do an Ethiopia, or a Georgia? Expect little American support for a Brotherhood takeover of power.

Alternatively if the Brotherhood won a substantial number, freely and fairly, their position can only be emboldened. They are likely to be perceived by many Egyptians as the only viable alternative to Mubarak (the Secular opposition has just 5 seats and is unlikely to break past around 20). Mubarak's coming term could therefore be one of upheaval and protest by stronger public discontent. The metaphorical jar's seal has been broken. How stable Egypt remains will be the most significant issue in coming weeks, months and years.


Post a Comment

<< Home